The UK Government recently announced that it was ceasing development of its current contact-tracing app; on the same day, the Canadian Government stated that it was developing one. All this in the same week that the Norwegian health authority had to delete all data gathered via its contact-tracing app and suspended further use due to a ruling by the Norwegian Data Protection Authority. And if these examples are not enough to demonstrate the utter confusion, the Australian app is reported to have a bug that stops iPhones from reporting possible close contacts.
It’s clear that there is no single or quick solution that is going to resolve the individual needs of the world’s health and government agencies that are attempting to use technology to assist in reducing the infection rates of COVID-19.
According to Wikipedia, more than 30 countries have, or are planning to release, apps designed to contact trace or geo fence their users, for the purposes of limiting and managing the spread of COVID-19. The development cycle and distribution of these time-sensitive solutions is itself unprecedented. Ask the members of any app development team if they could develop an app and the infrastructure to support 100 million or more users in under three months and they would say no – and that’s after they stop laughing at the suggestion.