This mobile app had been launched on 20 March 2020 in the midst of outbreak of COVID-19 and quite a number of cases found to be infected from unknown sources. I hope that each and everyone of us will help to do our parts as to keep every person safe in the public places as installing this app will assist to do a great part of contact tracing since when you are roaming around without knowing who you are in contact with.
This is what I understand the functionality of this app as to allow users for proactive help in all contact tracing purposes. It only requires a mobile number with Bluetooth enabled smartphone. You just need to give consent during the setup with Bluetooth turn on including enabling push notifications and location permissions for it to work. The app will only work within a short distance apart between phones at a close proximity which will be 2 or up to 5 metres for 30 minutes.
All your encounters with unknown number of people will be stored in your phone and will not be sent to the authorities. This means that you will only be asked to share these records when asked by the MOH for the contact tracing investigations. As we understand that our current method of contact tracing are from those memories of interviewees which will be hard since you will also be in contact with people that you do not have their information. This app is not a replacement of contact tracing efforts instead it will be additional aid to contact users who had close contacts of COVID-19 in a faster manner.
This app helps to intervenes as poor memory will not be a problem to slow down the process of contact tracing which is a key part of strategy to limit local transmission of COVID-19 and speed up the process. With faster contact tracing process to identify people at risk will eventually limiting the spreading locally. This type of monitoring enables users to take necessary action faster for signs of flu like symptoms. As we understand that early detection actually aid to reduction of risk in spreading the virus and protect families and loved ones. Using this app for everyone will mean a better and more effective method of contact tracing as to reduce the risk of local transmission.
As we understand that this app comes with several layers of security and privacy safeguards which means users will only submit their mobile numbers and a user ID will be assigned. With this user ID to be used for generating temporary IDs at regular intervals for exchanged between phones of TraceTogether. This method of generating temporary IDs is for protecting users from eavesdropping and tracking. No personal detail like names will be collected as well as no access to user’s phone contact list or address book. This app does not collect or use the location data as of the GPS. This means the app will not be able to identify the location of exposure to COVID-19 but only establish who might be exposed to the virus in contact. This means that the location will only be established when doing the verbal interviews at that point of time. TraceTogether will encrypt the log file which will be stored in user’s phone. This log file does not contain user’s phone numbers instead it is a set of cryptographical generated temporary ID. This means the logs leave the owner’s phone when using the app to send information to authorities for facilitating the contact tracing. Even then, the authorities or MOH will have no knowledge of the user’s data until it is deciphered and analysed after user submit it. Other than that, it will only operate during the COVID-19 outbreaks and will cease when it is over as the app will prompt users to deactivate.
It is time for everyone to be united and help one another to trace as to bring an end to this deadly virus. Be safe and have a great day ahead.