Contact Tracker Technology
Para español hacer clic aquí -> Tecnología de Rastreo de Contactos
By the I.T. Guy
As we start to reopen the economy while still dealing with high positivity of COVID-19, a new way of tracing contacts is becoming widely available. This tracing is driven by technology and it is not the official contact tracing managed by the Health Departments and the CDC. This is a public-driven, opt-in technology, which means user interaction is required. Users must download the app and register, and users must agree and consent to be traced.
How does it work?
Currently, there are two ways in which this tracing technology works. One is via Bluetooth. The users with the app need to be within 20 feet of each other, for at least five minutes for notifications to appear. The other is via location services. The app uses the smartphone’s GPS and the surrounding cellular towers.
iOS and Android devices have added recently a new option that must be enabled beyond the download of the tracing app and the opting-in. This security feature has been implemented to ensure that users are aware that this new technology is being used for tracking, so the extra step must be enabled for the app to properly work.
Using the location services for tracing allows users to look up the location prior to the visit and see if there are people that have been infected with Covid-19 at that site. The disadvantage of using location services is that there is no privacy, and users are being tracked by an unknown source.
When using the Bluetooth tracing option, users have more privacy, since they do not share their location with the app. The downside of this is that users must be at that particular location and it could take up to five minutes for notifications to appear that will signal that there are infected people at the location, which can be too long of an exposure.
In European and Asian countries many people are voluntarily using massive COVID-19 contact tracing technology. It is likely that Americans would be reluctant to share their location and information voluntarily, as there are privacy concerns. Official government contact tracers find reluctance from people to share information when they contact them to communicate they could have been exposed to COVID-19.
Would you utilize this technology?