THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The Dutch government has temporarily suspended its coronavirus warning program amid data privacy concerns for people who have the app installed on phones using the Android operating system.
Health Minister Hugo de onge ong announced late Wednesday night that the CoronaMelder program would stop sending alerts within 48 hours while the government checks the security of users’ data.
The Dutch application uses “impact notification” technology, developed by Google և Apple, which generates random passwords that can be exchanged on phones whose users are close enough to each other to transmit the virus.
The Ministry of Health says that for other applications of Android phones, it is possible to access data on whether its user has been infected and has connections with other phones.
“User privacy is always a priority. If Google has to fix the problem, I can limit the consequences. That is why we are making this decision, “said De Onge Ong in a statement.
According to the ministry, Google informed the government on Wednesday that it had solved the problem. The Dutch government suspended the app’s messages for 48 hours to check if the leak had been fixed.
In an e-mail to the Associated Press, Google said it was “correcting a problem where random Bluetooth identifiers used as part of Android” pos notification notification “were temporarily available for a limited number of pre-installed apps.” :
The tech giant said that the release started a few weeks ago, and it expects that “the fix will be available to all Android users in the coming days.”
Google said that random Bluetooth identifiers “have no practical implications for bad actors; it is extremely difficult for developers to be aware of the unwanted availability of these identifiers.”
The company added that it had no indication that any data from coronavirus programs had been misplaced.