With the recent announcement of CA Notify, a new COVID-19 tracking application, it’s natural to be a little skeptical about adding this type of technology to your phone.
After all, we’ve learned a lot of safety tips throughout the digital age about sharing personal information. A device that alerts you to others who have tested positive for COVID-19 should also make you question whether it’s sharing your medical or otherwise personal information.
According to the government site, all of your information is protected.
Here’s how it works. Your personal data is never shared — not your name, your location, your contact information, nor the identity of those you’ve been in contact with. Once you activate CA Notify, all you do is keep your Bluetooth on. You will only receive alerts if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. If another CA Notify user you've been near in the last two weeks tests positive for COVID-19 and adds their unique, anonymous verification code to the app, you’ll get an anonymous notification that you have potentially been exposed.
If you test positive, the California Department of Public Health allows you to activate the notification process with a code. When you choose to activate this function, any phones that were within 6 feet of you for 15 minutes or more during your infectious period can receive a notice of a possible exposure. The notification will tell the other users the date of their exposure, but does not include information about location, time or identity.
Information is powerful. If you can learn early of a possible COVID-19 exposure, you can also obtain a test early and make the proper preparations. For the elderly, pregnant or those with serious health conditions, this warning system could save a life. Consider installing this tech.