The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) established a group to deliver interoperability and privacy standards for apps designed to combat the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus), and accelerate their development.
In a statement, the standards agency said more than ten operators, vendors and research centres had already signed up to its Industry Specification Group Europe for Privacy-Preserving Pandemic Protection (ISG E4P).
The group will establish a framework to progress development of smartphone-based proximity tracing apps, enabling notifications of potential infection but with privacy foremost in mind.
A “primary challenge” for such apps lies in collecting and processing the proximity data of millions at scale “without compromising users’ anonymity and privacy” ETSI noted, added protecting against cyber-attacks was also a focus.
Jorge Romero, ETSI director general, committed to “support an international development community with a robust standardisation framework” to enable “accurate and reliable solutions while winning the trust of the population at large”.
ETSI stated ISG E4P would be mindful of European Commission work to deliver a common toolbox for app development, particularly “use of anonymised mobility data”. The group will also make use of the standards body’s “expertise in areas including cybesecurity, e-health and emergency communications”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back