EUPL copyleft licence

Finland’s Covid-19 trace app published as open source

Published on: 27/08/2020
Last update: 28/08/2020

On Tuesday, Finland’s Koronavilkku Covid-19 track and trace application was published as an open source solution under the European Union Public Licence (EUPL). The Koronavilkku software is being developed by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos, or THL), together with a handful of the country’s software development firms.

Making the code public “will allow the independent evaluation of the system’s functionality and security and the utilisation of the source code”, Aleksi Yrttiaho, Director of Information Services at THL, said in a press statement.

“Open source is a modern way to develop and distribute software. Once the software code is shared for everyone, possible software errors can be found and corrected quickly,” Mr Yrttiaho said.

Mr Yrttiaho told the Commission’s Open Source Observatory that the EUPL was selected because the license provides clear guidelines for code reuse. “As a European license we also feel secure that the license takes into account the copyright laws of Finland as well as other member states of the European Union,” he added.

According to THL, Finland’s National Cyber Security Centre is to finish its security audit of the software this week.

The Koronavilkku suite consists of an application backend plus smartphone apps for the iOS and Android operating systems. The apps will be available in the respective systems’ app stores next week, THL writes.

“A mobile contact tracing app used on a voluntary basis and compliant with data protection legislation can help stop chains of infection caused by the coronavirus. The app will allow people to participate in and influence the prevention of coronavirus infections and to protect their own and their loved ones’ health”, THL wrote in an earlier announcement.

The health organisation is holding an online presentation on Friday morning, to discuss information security and data protection in the Koronavilkku apps and related systems.

More information:

THL announcement on the open source code of Koronavilkku
THL announcement of the contact tracing application
Solita announcement (in Finnish)

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