eRouska is an app for mobile phones that has been developed to use Bluetooth to track all users of the app with whom you come into contact with.
The app is now also available for iPhone users. eRouška is part of the so-called smart quarantine, a project that involves tracing past contacts of people who test positive for the virus five days back by creating “maps of their movements” with the help of banks and mobile phone operators.
The application, which the Ministry of Health has taken under its patronage should facilitate an easier, faster, and more effective process of looking up people who are at high risk of infection due to contact with an infected person.
Once the users give their permission to the app, phones with activated Bluetooth service can let one another know when they meet. The eRouška application then saves anonymized data into the owner’s phone about mobile devices with the same application which were recently in its vicinity.
If a user’s coronavirus test comes back positive, the phone data can then be used to send anonymized identification numbers of other applications to health officers during an epidemiologic investigation. If once again the user gives permission, only authorized health officers will be able to pair individual identification numbers with phone numbers entered during the registration and then contact potentially infected citizens.
The authors state that the entire eRouška system was designed in accordance with GDPR, and the application is open source which means that anyone can take a look at its code.
„Compared to other solutions which have appeared on the market not just in the Czech Republic but also abroad, eRouška’s advantage is that it doesn’t use collection of location data in order to function, and this saves the phone battery as well,” clarifies Martin Půlpitel from the Information Technology Faculty of CTU and the founder of developer company Ackee.