26th June 2020
Daniel Pfund, Senior Financial Analyst
Few people know this, but it was in Switzerland that the idea of tracing COVID-19 infected contacts by telephone was born. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology developed the application known as “SwissCovid”. These researchers had to convince Apple and Google to integrate Bluetooth tracking functionality into their operational systems. This was no easy task, as Apple and Google hate each other so much.
Of course, the issue of privacy was at the heart of the debate, and the system is based on anonymous data. So you won’t know who you’ve been in contact with for more than 15 minutes within 2 meters and who has tested positive. Last week the parliament approved this tracking system, not without important debates on privacy, and the application is now available for iPhone and Android. Researchers estimate that at least 60% of the population will need to install it (on a voluntary basis) for it to be effective.