The European Commission has tasked German software giant SAP to develop a way to link at least 18 national virus-tracing apps to share data across EU borders, officials said Friday.
Brussels is trying to act in a coordinating role between the 27 EU capitals as they seek ways to trace victims of the coronavirus epidemic and better control new outbreaks.
But many member states went ahead with their own contact-tracing mobile apps that are not fully compatible with each other, hampering efforts to monitor the epidemic's spread.
A commission spokesman told AFP that SAP and Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems will put together a network gateway within three to four weeks to allow apps based on a decentralised architecture to talk to one another.
Countries like France and Hungary that built a centralised pool of data will not be able to take part at this stage, but networked apps like those used in 18 EU members including Germany, Poland and Italy will be involved.
SAP worked with Deutsche Telekom to build Germany's coronavirus warning app, which has been much-praised and has been downloaded more than 16 million times.
Germany's app uses a decentralised data storage model of the kind promoted by US giants Apple and Google, whereas France's StopCovid app has a central server. Fewer than 2.5 million French users have downloaded the app.
The commission did not reveal the size of the contract. Deutsche Telekom will work with SAP as a sub-contractor.
© 2020 AFP