GGD long doubted about utility Coronamelder app and warned of haste

Even when the Coronamelder app was almost finished, the GGD was not convinced of the usefulness of the app. The Health Service also warned against the haste of the Ministry of Health in its introduction, is evidenced by internal documents obtained by DeccEit under the Public Administration Act.

In the app, the GGD was afraid of a โ€œdisruptive effectโ€ on the source and contact research. โ€œThe app should support and not disrupt the work of the GGD,โ€ writes the GGD on June 12.

Why the GGD doubted exactly the usefulness of the app, is not evident from the documents. However, the GGD appears to have been afraid that the preparation for the app would be at the expense of regular source and contact research. During the development of the app, the GGD was busy scaling up.

Nor

did the organization want people to be approached both by the app and by a source and contact researcher of meat and blood. This cannot be prevented by the fact that the app does not know the identity of infected people.

Almost off

The Ministry called the app โ€œalmost finishedโ€ to the outside world on 25 June, but received a letter three days before that with a โ€œserious warningโ€ from GGD GHOR Director Hugo Backx. According to him, there was no plans about how to enter the app and how to measure the results. Without such plans, introduction is โ€œnot feasibleโ€, he wrote.

The letter shows that the Ministry actually wanted to launch the app nationwide on 15 July. โ€œThis is considerably faster than previously communicated,โ€ said Backx in his letter. Despite the large role played by the GGD in the app, the Ministry had hardly thought about the impact of the app on the GGD. It was also not clear what a user of the app should do after a notification of a potentially risky contact. He therefore emphasised emphable that the introduction was not feasible.

The warning seems to have been successful: a launch on 15 July remained unsuccessful. Eventually, the introduction of the app was postponed until 1 September. And that date was not met, after problems with the legal justification for the app. Only last weekend, on 10 October, the CoronaElder became available nationwide.

If you dont know the app yet; in this video we explain what it can do and how it works:

Previously, the various GGDs internally expressed their concerns about the reception of the app. There had to be confidence in the app, otherwise the introduction of the app would not work, according to a conversation report.

Early in the development of the corona app, Minister De Jonge also got a tap on the fingers about a hasty introduction. The security forces warned in April that the ministry was running far too fast. At that time, De Jonge wanted to have a working corona app within a few weeks. The services called that far from realistic for a secure and privacy-friendly app.

Positively critic

The GGD now lets you know that they are happy with the app. โ€œOur questions have been answered, resulting in an app that we can now work well with,โ€ says spokesperson Sonja Kloppenburg. The released documents indicate the situation in June, she emphasizes. The Ministry of VWS states that the GGDs are โ€œpositively criticalโ€ towards the app and were ready in time for the introduction.

A person concerned about the development of the app argues that there were many misunderstandings about the app at the GGD. โ€œThey were afraid of a privacy rule,โ€ he says.