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Consortium building corona test application providing maximum privacy

A consortium called 'uNLock' has started developing an open source, non-profit application that will facilitate the verification of corona tests while ensuring maximum security of users.

Currently the open consortium includes the Rabobank, CMS, TNO, Ledger Leopard (a major occupational health services provider), EY, IBM, Delft  University of Technology, Dutch Blockchain Coalition and Leiden University. Talks are also being held with various other possible public and private parties.

Leiden University is contributing to the consortium by providing knowledge from three faculties: Leiden Law School (privacy, human rights, data protection),  Humanities (ethics concerning technology and use of data) and Medicine (link to the LUMC Covid19 Radar app). Dean of Leiden Law School, Professor Joanne van der Leun, is a member of the consortium core team.

Privacy-by-design

This collaboration between legal scholars and technologists will deliver well thought out solutions, Bart Custers, Professor of Law and  Data Science and involved in the project on behalf of the University, says: 'Effectiveness and attention to privacy are optimally balanced in this project. By including privacy considerations in the design, we can guarantee maximum privacy.' An example of bringing together law, ethics and technology.

The app is based on privacy-by-design and data is stored decentrally. In this way, a verified party has certainty that a visitor has rightfully been provided access without data about that visitor being saved or parties coming to know more about that visitor besides whether they meet the access requirements. The app can initially only be used for coronavirus test results, but at a later stage an immunity test or vaccination can also be verified.  

The following (Dutch) video explains how the app works:

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'Restarting' society

The uNLock application can, for example, help in getting recently tested healthcare workers placed on wards where screening is very important, or at a later stage informal care givers can be checked before gaining access to care homes. The application could also play a role later on when schools are reopened, or when factories and offices allow their staff to return, when organising certain public events or international passenger air traffic restarting. In this way, the application can contribute to how Dutch society will slowly ‘restart’ after coronavirus. 

Unique approach

uNLock has a unique approach: it aims to restore trust in society. This is something that is needed in all sorts of areas; in healthcare for example, but also in aviation (on 9 April the government announced that a fit-to-fly certificate will be required for incoming passengers from risk areas).

This application, therefore, is not a source and contract tracing app, like those currently being hotly debated in society. uNLock is complementary to the applications previously announced by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport at their press conference on 7 April (i.e. a tracking app and symptoms app).

On Thursday 16 April 2020 the 'uNLock consortium' will hold a webinar about the new application. More information (in Dutch) is available here.

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