null Telecommunications ministers discuss the tracing apps in tackling COVID-19 crisis

Telecommunications ministers discuss the tracing apps in tackling COVID-19 crisis

Press release 05.05.2020 18.38 fi sv en

Minister Timo Harakka (Photo: MINTC)

The topics on the agenda of EU telecommunications ministers’ video conference on Tuesday, 5 May 2020, included mobile tracing applications in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meeting, Finland was represented by Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

“An important aspect of the application being developed in Finland is its voluntary use. The use must be based on a person’s consent and the application must no longer be used after the epidemic. The data collected by the application may not be retained any longer than is necessary,” Minister Harakka stresses.

Finland considers it important that the mobile applications are compatible between Member States. They must also meet high standards of information security and data protection.

“I encourage EU health ministers to swiftly engage in cooperation. Once the borders open, the applications in the EU should be as compatible as possible. This may be a critical factor in the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis,” Harakka says.

The ministers also discussed how the digital sector could efficiently contribute to the post-COVID-19 recovery in the EU.

“During the corona epidemic, digitalisation has taken a huge step forward with the substantial increase in, for example, the number of video conferences, food delivery services and virtual events. The need for these will not decrease in future. That is why it is necessary to constantly improve the functionality, capacity and sustainability of the communication networks. It is important that fixed optical fibre and 5G networks are promoted side by side,” Harakka says.

Inquiries:

Johanna Juselius, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 372 7062