Corona app downloaded 2.6 million times, but how many people use it? | NOW

The CoronaMelder corona app has now been downloaded more than 2.6 million times, Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) announced on Monday via Twitter known. A small nuance: that does not necessarily mean that just as many Dutch people use the app, those involved explain.

Using CoronaMelder, smartphones can exchange signals with smartphones of other app users. Those contacts are recorded in unique, anonymous codes. This creates a log of people who have been around each other. If someone later turns out to be infected, they can warn their contacts from the past few days together with the GGD.

“We just cannot see how many people are actively using the app,” explains Ivo Jansch. He was one of the people brought in by the Ministry of Health to build CoronaMelder.

In the settings of the phone, people must also give permission to share data with CoronaMelder. For example, people can install the app, but not grant permission or (temporarily) withdraw it, so that CoronaMelder is not active. “But if people deactivate something, we can’t see it,” says Brenno de Winter, who was also involved in the development of the corona app.

Corona app in use nationwide since October 10

Since the nationwide introduction of the app – last Saturday – the ministry has seen an “idiotic increase” in the amount of traffic with the servers, says De Winter. However, these figures cannot be used to find out exactly how many active users CoronaMelder has.

“That’s because we separate the IP address (a unique number that is associated with the phone, ed.) From the rest of the info. We are blinded by privacy,” says Jansch, referring to the choice to use the app as little as possible. possibly to collect data.

Privacy was an important condition for the ministry to introduce the app. Because the use of CoronaMelder must be voluntary, any traceability to a person could put this principle under pressure.

The team behind CoronaMelder wants to use questionnaires to find out how many people actually use the app.