Italy launches contact-tracing app based on Apple and Google's technology

Immuni App
Immuni App (Image credit: Immuni)

What you need to know

  • Italy has launched "Immuni", a new contact-tracing app.
  • The app is based on the exposure notification technology from Apple and Google.
  • Only 44% of Italians have said they will download the app so far.

Italy has officially launched a COVID-19 contact tracing app based on the exposure notification technology developed by Apple and Google. Reported by Reuters, the country is testing out the app in four different regions before rolling it out to the rest of the country.

Pier Luigi Lopalco, who runs the COVID-19 emergency unit in the Puglia region, says that the app will help health agencies figure out who came into contact with someone who was infected with the virus.

"In this way we will be able to identify someone who was sitting on the bus next to an infected person,"

The app, called "Immuni", uses Apple and Googles exposure notification technology which uses Bluetooth instead of GPS to determine if someone came into contact with an infected individual.

"The app dubbed "Immuni" (immune) is aimed at reducing the risk of such flare-ups by recording when users are in close proximity with each other. Their mobile phones will exchange codes through Bluetooth technology. If a person tests positive for the virus, the app tells recent contacts to self-isolate and get tested, helping health authorities to react quickly and limit contagion."

Despite the government's efforts to ensure its citizens that its app will not track the user's location and that data will be systematically deleted, a recent poll shows that at least 24% of people will not plan on downloading the app.

"However only 44% of Italians said they would probably or certainly download Immuni, according to survey by pollster EMG Acqua on May 26, while 24% would definitely not download it. On-the-ground testing of the app, which has been developed by tech start-up Bending Spoons, will start on June 8 in the Liguria, Abruzzo, Marche and Puglia regions."

Countries and state's are currently split between implementing Apple and Google's solution as opposed to creating their own.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.