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what features it has and what data it collects

In addition to the mobility studies published by the INE and the chatbot enabled on WhatsApp, in early April the Government of Spain launched a coronavirus self-diagnostic applicationAssistance: Covid19. This service, available both for iOS and Android and through the web, was born as a national version of the CoronaMadrid app launched a few weeks before.

Their goal was not only to help you diagnose a possible case of coronavirus, but also keep you informed about the pandemic with official and reliable data. Although there are six Autonomous Communities that have been using this application for weeks (Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castile-La Mancha, Extremadura, Balearic Islands), it is now that the Government has published in the BOE all the details about its functionalities and the data it collects.

Open source and with the collaboration of Telefónica


As the BOE explains, this application will allow “.perform the user’s self-assessment based on the medical symptoms it reports, about the likelihood of being infected with COVID-19, provide information to the user about COVID-19 and provide the user with practical advice and recommendations for actions to be taken based on the assessment”.

That means that, for the time being, it’s not that future contact-tracking application such as that already shown by Google and Apple and on which the Spanish Government has not yet taken a position.

It is also established that “the person responsible for processing the data will be the Ministry of Health”, while “the person in charge of the processing and owner of the application will be the General Secretariat for Digital Administration” (SGAD). It also includes the Telefónica’s willingness to collaborate in the development and operation of the app and their obligations in this regard:

  • Operational management of the app.
  • Hosting of the app.
  • Implementation and deployment of the app.
  • Processing of users’ personal data.
  • Adoption of appropriate technical and organizational measures, in accordance with the corresponding risk analysis, to avoid the loss, alteration or unauthorized access to the data handled by the application.
  • Corrective maintenance and operation for a maximum of one month.

Telefónica assigns the intellectual and industrial property rights of the app to the General State Administration, through the SGAD, which will release it and make it public under an open source scheme

In this sense, although Telefónica is the owner of the intellectual and industrial property rights over all the computer developments against which the aforementioned application will operate, it assigns them to the General State Administration, through the SGAD, which will release it and make it public under an open source scheme (open source).

What can I do with the Covid19 Assistance app

Covid 19 Assistance

The BOE also details the functionalities that, to date, the application allows:

  • Make the self-evaluation based on the medical symptoms that the user reports about the likelihood of being infected with COVID-19.

  • Perform continuous daily self-assessment: Monitoring of temperature and basic parametersEvery twelve hours from the start of the application, including a reminder in the form of an alarm.

  • Provide user information about COVID-19, including sending notifications through the application regarding the better prevention and evaluation at every turn.

  • Provide the user with practical tips and recommendations of actions to be taken according to the evaluation.

The BOE establishes that the geolocation will only be used at the moment of the registration of the users, as well as when they carry out their self-evaluations

  • Geolocate the user using the geolocation information via GPS available on your mobile phone. This geolocation will only be used when users register, as well as when they carry out their self-assessment, in order to find out which Autonomous Community they are in and connect them to the corresponding health care system.

  • Access to information for citizens by the competent health authorities, through a information exchange gateway and a defined data protocol with each of the administrations.

Finally, it is specified that the application is developed in web and mobile format (iOS and Android), but it will also allow self-assessment on other display devices or interfaces such as television or virtual assistants, provided that users have the necessary equipment and applications.

What data the application collects

App Coronavirus

Another important section of the document refers to the data that will be processed by the Data Manager and the Assistant Data Manager (the SGAD and Telefónica, respectively):

  • Identification and contact details of users, including name and surname(s), mobile phone number for sending SMS, DNI/NIE for later crossing with the health card, full address and postal code, date of birth and gender (optional).

  • GPS Geolocation of the users, but only for what has been explained above.

  • Health data of users, including symptoms: dry cough, fever of more than 37.5ºC, shortness of breath, previous pathologies, if there has been contact with a confirmed positive patient of COVID-19, nasal mucus, muscular pain and/or general malaise.

  • Use and interaction data users with the application.

Covid Assistance 19 02

With regard to the controversy generated during the first tests of the app, the BOE also specifies the data protection obligations which they will have to comply with, ranging from accessing this data “only when necessary for the proper conduct” to “restricting access to information to their employees and subcontractors”.

Finally, the BOE recalls that “the use of the application is free, free and voluntary”The user must be at least sixteen years old or have the consent of a parent or legal guardian.

More information | BOE

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