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“Contact Tracing Apps”! Do You Want These on Your Phone?

The COVID-19 outbreak has shocked the world & even though everyone is staying home, they are scared to death going out. The experts related to public health have tied their shoes & are looking out for best tools to track infected or probable infected people around.

COVID-19 outbreak

One of the best tools the experts are using currently is the detective work that’s apparently necessary. Putting a trace on everyone so that they can get the data if you have been infected, or have been in touch with an infected person in the recent days or hours.

Contact Tracing App Concept

With the one & only concept of “finding the infected people (Novel Coronavirus) & narrowing down the group of people they have met along the way.” The old but effective technique will be used to break the chain of this pandemic & keep the outbreak under control.

The results of using the Contact Tracing Apps have been tremendous in countries like South Korea where the curve of infected patients have been flattened. After knowing what these apps can do, tech giants Apple & Google are coming together to build one so that it can help the United States of America as well as the whole world.

Contact Tracing App Concept

“First, in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.

Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities. Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders. We will openly publish information about our work for others to analyze.”

Also Read: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker

How Does The Contact Tracing App Functions?

Trying to encounter infected people & the crowd they have met, Contact Tracing Apps work on bluetooth functionality. In case you have come in contact with someone who has been identified & been tested +ve for COVID-19 pandemic, you will be notified of the same.

Obviously, at the time of signing up, the app will ask you questions about your health conditions in the past few days. Using Bluetooth, the apps will trace when two smartphones will come closer. These apps will help you get the info about if you were nearby anyone who was later diagnosed with this deadly virus.

Without a doubt, the contact tracing apps (if they become functional & get implemented worldwide as expected) are going to play a huge role in controlling this pandemic all over the world. A significance value will be added to drag down the number of the probable patients at the initial stage only.

The Wall Street Journal (By Sam Schechner & Rolfe Winkler) wrote, “The tech giants on Friday said they will release tools for software developers to create so-called contact-tracing apps that record when smartphones come into close contact with each other. Such apps could warn users if they were nearby someone later diagnosed as positive for Covid-19.

Please know that how easy it sounds to control the pandemic via an app, the implementation will be a headache for almost every country. Because first of all, the app will straight away require the worldwide adoption that may raise various concerns. Secondly, the continuous testing of potential & probable patients so that the ultimate goal can be fulfilled.

What Can Be The Public Concerns?

In the era where your browsing information is exposed to the service provider, giving permission to apps asking for health conditions, are going to raise many questions.

There are companies such as Facebook Inc. & Zoom that are already going through major data breach & privacy concerns making the user technically vulnerable. Giving private information about your health is going to be a big step to fight the COVID-29 outbreak however we have no idea how the information will be used in the near future.

Public Concerns

Since the smartphones will be tracing each other on the basis of Bluetooth technology, your phone will constantly have Bluetooth feature switched on. A Lot of us don’t actually believe in giving information to service providers considering the previous experiences & no one can blame them.

In order to know more about Contact Tracing, check out the link here.

What I believe is, providing info to these apps is alright till the time how the info will be used for future references. Additionally, what are all the permissions the apps will require to make the ultimate goal work.

So what do you think about downloading & using these contact tracing apps on your phone from the privacy & security point of view?

Next Read: Technology Tips To Help You With COVID-19

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