Latest news and insight on how the technology sector is reacting to Covid-19.
Quarantine tracker app
Residents of Moscow who have been ordered to stay at home may have their movements tracked by a new app. The Social Monitoring app will initially be used by Muscovites who have tested positive for Covid-19 and been asked to self-isolate at home. The app will request access to a wide range of user data including location, calls, camera and storage. A related app is in development for those in lockdown but allowed to leave the home occasionally to shop or exercise. Users would be sent a QR code to show to police as proof of that they had permission to go outside.
European coronavirus-tracing via phones
A group of scientists, developers and technologists are working to create an app that would track individuals in an effort to limit the spread of Covid-19. The Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing scheme would use Bluetooth and location services on phones to monitor where individuals go and who they spend time close to. If someone is then found to be infected anyone who may have been exposed can be notified and tested or asked to self-isolate. The scheme aims to set standards and share technology, ensuring privacy is protected.
AI assistance to solve supply issues
Scoutbee, a SaaS provider that uses AI and Big Data to streamline the procurement process, is offering its services free of charge to help source critical care items. NGOs, public bodies and national or local governments are all being given access to the software that helps match global supply and demand and accelerate sourcing.
Free Work From Home Policies
Lawtech firm SeedLegals is offering free access to its Work From Home Policy tool. SeedLegals’ SaaS solutions are aimed at startups, providing adaptable legal documentation for hiring, investment and growth – and they have extended the offer to include Work From Home policies. Documentation can be made bespoke then downloaded or shared via the platform.
Dutch startups band together against Covid-19
A group of startups and tech businesses in the Netherlands has joined forces to use their products and services in the fight against coronavirus. The ‘Tech Against Corona’ initiative is backed by Techleap.nl, a non-profit that aims to accelerate the country’s tech ecosystem. The startups will share data and resources, and offer free services where relevant, across initiatives ranging from cybersecurity for key homeworkers to distributed manufacturing of vital supplies.