Contact tracking: a British app plans to share information
Good news for users of the contact tracking app in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Jersey.If they travel to each other's land, they will be notified if they come into contact with an infected person.Users of the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales should benefit from the same deal next month.
So how does it work?
For example, if a Protect Scotland app user travels from Glasgow to joker123 Belfast and is in close contact with someone using the Northern Irish app, they will be notified if they detect Covid- 19 positively later That's because all three territories use what is described as a centralized server capable of storing details of positive test results.Each app user's phone in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Jersey will continuously search for that server, and if an anonymous record of the person it contacts is found, they should receive a disclosure notice. That might send them into isolation.The interoperability means users don't need to install other apps when traveling. The Scottish Government said it had reached an agreement to allow the NHS Covid-19 app, used in England and Wales, to join the central server in early November. Gibraltar contact tracking app users will join the system simultaneously.
The ability to work together
The Health Department in England confirmed it was working to make NHS apps interoperable.A spokesperson said: "We are taking steps to deliver this, connecting Scotland, Northern Ireland and Jersey first and the connected NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales. All necessary techniques and safety.The Northern Ireland app works across the Irish border, sharing positive test results with Ireland's Covid Tracker app, Irish software company NearForm, helped develop both apps, along with Protect Scotland and several other apps launched in the United States.But for now, there will be no interoperability between Ireland's health services and contact tracking apps in Scotland, England and Wales.The Scottish Government also revealed that its app, which has been downloaded 1.5 million times since its launch last month, sent more than 10,000 notifications to people, saying it had close contact with people. Those infected with the virus and must isolate themselves.The anonymous nature of this app and other apps that use the Apple Toolkit, Google, means it can't know who they are or follow the instructions.More than 18 million people have downloaded the NHS Covid-19 app since launch. But so far, no information has been made on the number of notifications sent.
How does it work?
This app uses Bluetooth technology to alert users if they have been in close contact for a long time with people who have tested positive for Covid-19.When individuals tested positive for the virus, they were contacted by the contact's followers by text, phone or email.Contact followers will ask them if they are users of the app and they are willing to use the app's upload function to anonymously alert their close ones.If they agree, they will be sent a unique code to their mobile which will unlock this function in the app.Sharing their positive test results in this way it is part of an anonymous database.Apps on other users' phones regularly check this database to see if they have contacted an infected person.A warning will be automatically issued when a match is found. Users are then urged to isolate themselves for 14 days.
Where can I get it?
Protect Scotland can be downloaded for free from Apple's App Store or Google Play.On the iPhone, the app will only run on the iOS 13 operating system, which can run on all models from the iPhone 6s onwards.Android users must be running Android 6.0 and up.Essentially, phones released after 2015 should have the ability to run apps.
Is it a secret?
Yes. This app uses anonymous codes or "keys". These are exchanged between Bluetooth phones, but do not contain any personal information.There may be some information about the Bluetooth signal strength, which the app uses to estimate the proximity. But cannot be used to identify you The use of the app is entirely voluntary and you do not need to enter any personal details to download or install.Decentralized approaches are designed to maximize privacy. If you use this app, your phone will collect a large number of anonymous keys from nearby users. Instead, they will be stored on your device instead of uploading them.Your phone will check with a database to see if these keys are "infected" or not, but will not upload any information without your permission.This app has leave function which can be used at any time to delete all app data from the phone.