Tags: Coronavirus | covid | coronavirus | privacy | apple

COVID-19 Exposure Logging Contact Tracing App on IPhones, Androids Poses Privacy Concerns

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By    |   Thursday, 02 July 2020 04:50 PM

A COVID-19 Exposure Logging contact tracing feature has hit iPhones and Androids, catching some users by surprise.

Contact tracing involves identifying people who have coronavirus and people who they came in contact with and notifying those people so they can self-isolate and help stop the ongoing spread.

Apple and Google have for months been working to build a feature that can assist with COVID-19 tracing. On iPhones, users go to the "settings" menu, then to "privacy," and finally "health" to find the "COVID-19 Exposure Logging" feature. The feature arrived on phones via routine software updates, though it is turned off by default and no personal data about you or your device is uploaded.

Information transmitted only occurs after a verified positive test for COVID-19 and if the person chooses whether to share their random ID with the app.

Still, some users have security concerns.

"Devices have the ability to identify one another and that is going to give you a good option if you’re trying to do contact tracing," said C. Matthew Curtin, a tech and cybersecurity expert. "Now, if you feed all the stuff up to a central server, now you’ve got some problems.”

Apple and Google say the feature doesn’t collect location data or share it with other people.

"Given the way that it’s designed, if it is, in fact, behaving that way, it is going to be a reasonable balance between public safety, the health concerns we have, and what kinds of badness can happen," Curtin said.

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A COVID-19 Exposure Logging contact tracing feature has hit iPhones and Androids, catching some users by surprise...
covid, coronavirus, privacy, apple
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2020-50-02
Thursday, 02 July 2020 04:50 PM
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