The European Commission (EC) activated its interoperability gateway service for national contact tracing apps in Germany, Republic of Ireland and Italy, allowing the encrypted data of millions of people related to Covid-19 (coronavirus) infections to be transferred across borders.

In a statement, the EC noted its gateway went live yesterday (19 October) after a pilot phase, and is initially connecting Germany’s Corona-Warn-App, Ireland’s COVID Tracker and Italy’s Immuni app. Combined downloads of the trio total 30 million.

The EC said another batch of apps will be added next week, with services deployed in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Latvia and Spain expected to join the group.

Interoperability through the gateway service will be possible for a total of 20 apps based on decentralised systems, the EC explained, without providing information how the remaining seven European Union member states could be included.

The EC emphasised the cross-border system does not allow “identification of individual persons”, and doesn’t track user’s location “or movement of devices”. Information is “only stored as long as necessary” to trace infections.