Opinion sharply divided about using an app to trace coronavirus cases

Seven apps are being tested. Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

There is sharply divided support for a coronavirus tracing app among the Dutch and only one third say they would download it without question, according to research carried out by Delft, Maastricht and the VU universities.

A further one third of the random sample of 926 people who took part in the research said they had doubts about using an app with the remaining one third saying they would not use it at all. ‘We have rarely seen such opposing views,’ the researchers said in their report.

The government hopes use of the app will improve the tracking of people who have come into contact with coronavirus patients so the spread can be monitored and small outbreaks contained.

Health minister Hugo de Jonge has said that at least 60% of the population would have to download the app for it to be effective.

Research by Erasmus University at the end of April showed that over half the Dutch would be prepared to use an app to trace coronavirus infections if it met proper guarantees on privacy and security.

The government hopes to start testing its own app later this month.

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