Norway's health authorities suspended the use of its COVID-19 tracing app and deleted all location data collected amid new privacy criticism from the Norwegian Data Protection Authority (DPA), reported The Local.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) launched the smartphone app Smittestopp ("infection stop") in April was used to collect location data of COVID-19 carriers.
The country's data privacy watchdog raised several red flags with the app on Friday, indicating that it's too "invasive" now that COVID-19 infection and death rates have slowed.
"Smittestopp is a very invasive measure, even in an exceptional situation where society is trying to fight a pandemic," DPA said in a statement. "The legality of Smittestopp depends on the social benefits."
The NIPH responded to DPA's criticism of the app and said:
"We don't agree with the DPA's evaluation, but feel it is necessary to delete all data and put work on hold as a result of this.
"We will as a result weaken an important part of our preparedness against a spread in infection, as we now lose time for development and testing of the app," NIPH said in a statement.