Colombia: Coronapp fails at public information purpose


Colombia's has launched the free, Android-only, prevention-focused Colombia-Coronapp developed by the National Health Institute (INS) to help identify and eradicate the virus across the country, as well provide centralisation and transparency. Besides their basic information, users are asked to say if they have participated in any mass events in the prior eight days, a controversial question because of the recent protests across the country. The app also provides safety tips, an updated map of drugstores and health institutions, and a daily control intended to identify symptoms. The country had one confirmed case when the app was released. In an analysis of the app, Fundación Karisma found many concerns. The app is a version of one made for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, adapted in 2017 to strengthen surveillance of public health risks, and has bugs that make it unusable. None of the functions, not even the safety information, are accessible without filling out the registration form, which requires full name, sex, data of birth, ethnicity, and email, with no clarity in the terms and conditions about how the information will be protected and used. Finally, 20 million Colombians do not have internet access, and many of those who do access it through low-end smartphones. The group believes the population would be better served by a regularly updated light web page designed for access from any device.