Smittestopp, Norway’s Contact Tracing App
Smittestopp is an app that will help Norwegian health authorities to limit the transmission of coronavirus. Anonymised data about movement patterns in society from the app are used to develop effective infection control measures. Once a user has downloaded and started to use the Smittestopp app, he or she will be sent a text message if has been in close contact with another Smittestop user who is subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19. The message will advise about how to limit further transmission. Anonymised data will give insight to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health into the effect of any changes in the measures against coronavirus.
Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact
Through the Smittestopp app, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health receives anonymised data about movement patterns in society. The data you share is anonymised and will be used to gain insight into the effect of changes to the measures for fighting the virus. It will then be possible to monitor even more closely whether the measures are working, and whether infected people are in close contact with more people as society eases the measures and restrictions.
In the first few weeks of operation, the Smittestopp app will mainly collect data about user movements. The app also has a notification feature that will be tested in selected municipalities. This means that Smittestopp users in these municipalities will receive a text message if they have been in close contact with someone who is subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19. This assumes that the infected person also uses the Smittestopp app. We will assess the functionality before introducing it nationwide.
When the alert feature is in use across Norway, the Smittestopp app will ensure that app users will be told that they have been exposed to infection and will be advised about how to avoid infecting others. Since people can be contagious before developing symptoms, this should happen as quickly as possible to prevent further transmission.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Simula have worked together to develop the Smittestopp app.
Potential issues around contact tracing apps often revolve around data privacy.
The data about where you have been are recorded from Location Services and Bluetooth by the Smittestopp app. These data are deleted after 30 days. While the Smittestopp app is in use, data from the last 30 days are constantly recorded and older data are deleted.
You can delete your personal information at any time by using the delete functionality in the app, or you can delete the app. You can also choose whether to turn the logging features on or off.