Immuni no longer expires on December 31, 2020

Immuni no longer expires on December 31, 2020
The Immuni app was born as a temporary measure for the containment of infections on the Italian territory. It is a project born in spring, in the wake of the tight lockdown experienced, with development and publication arriving in early summer. Many uncertainties and too many discussions have undermined the initial path, but now a more decisive communication campaign has finally put the app's growth trend on the right track.



The context, however , in the meantime it has changed considerably and from the apparent calm of the Italian summer it has passed to the first cold shivers of autumn with a first surge in infections. Now Immuni represents something new and useful, a weapon to be exploited in this phase of growth of the pandemic. This is why the Government wanted to put a hand to the initial project by changing two elements in particular:

the expiry of the app the international interoperability of the app

New deadline

Perhaps not everyone had noticed to a very important aspect of Immuni's initial project (in many ways a detail that could appear to be an exercise in style, but which actually describes the attention paid): the app had a deadline. Born as a tool for containing a pandemic which is hoped for its nature to be limited to a certain period of time, and wanting to ensure maximum user privacy, 31 December 2020 was indicated as the final date of operation of the system, after which the data would have been canceled and any "tracking" would have disappeared.

By doing this, it was certified that the app had no other purpose than the fight against the coronavirus, thus linking the destinies of the app itself to those of the pandemic . All was not only promised, but it was certified in black and white on line 161 of the public documentation available on Github:

161 - All data, whether stored on the device or on the server, are deleted when no longer needed and in any case no later than December 31, 2020.

The new deadline has been fixed in the Council of Ministers: the provision is in publication, but has already been formalized by the Government's press point which speaks of a simple "extension of the period of use", without further details: logic wants the new deadline to be extended to 31 December 2021 .

Thus the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitization, Paola Pisano:

I was convinced from the beginning that creating the Immuni app to entrust its management to the Ministry of Health would have constituted the 'starting a path and that the app would have been useful, even if not all observers and potential users would have perceived it immediately or will perceive it in a very short time. The government has decided to extend the use of the application for the whole of next year, which serves to reduce the possibility of new outbreaks of Covid-19 and for which my offices continue to take care of both the technical and regulatory aspects. It is a further step along the path of developing digital services for the benefit of citizens, which goes in the direction of making Italy increasingly adapted to the times of technological evolution we are experiencing.

Interoperability

Again with the words of the minister:

The government has also given the green light to ensure that the Immuni system can work in conjunction with those of similar apps in other European countries. Developing interoperability is important and it is good that the Italian commitment makes use of collaborations from friendly countries and vice versa. It is important to make us safer in the face of the virus. Not only in Italy, but also in Europe and in order not to exclude from a prevention mechanism those who have to travel for work or for other reasons.

The intervention of the Government does nothing but endorse a question from the point of a technical point of view has already been addressed at the European level, creating a continental gateway for the exchange of anonymous tracking codes. By doing this, the apps have the possibility to communicate with each other, ensuring that contact tracing does not have to stop at national borders. This is clearly important today, with numbers of contagion on the rise, but it will be all the more important when the numbers return to decline, people return to travel and "return" waves will therefore be more likely.

The timeline has been set in recent days: interoperability will start from mid-October. The formal passage with the approval of the Government is our green light when the European servers are turned on.

HOW TO DOWNLOAD IMMUNI: ALL THE DETAILS

According to the latest data available, as of October 6th Immuni had reached 7.48 million downloads. 378 people had reported their positivity through the app and 6718 people had received notification of contact at risk. It is these numbers that give the idea of ​​what Immuni can do, contributing to the identification of the chains of contagion and to the suffocation in the bud of any new local clusters.

Immuni is no longer a project destined to die in end of the year, nor is it an app destined to go out on the border with other European countries. However, it is a project on which it is necessary to continue to work intensively, both on the technical and on the communicative front, as well as on the refinement of health protocols related to the people who have received the notification and hope for diligent assistance.

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