(NewsReady.com) – Coronavirus researchers and state governors are looking to collect more information about COVID-19, specifically how it spreads. Tracking the transmission of the virus is very useful information and multiple methods obtaining this data are under consideration. One of them is called “contact tracing,” where you download an app to your smartphone and it uses location data to let you know if you came in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. A governor in one state is really pushing it.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) wants everyone in the state to download a new app, “Crush COVID RI,” to assist with contact tracing.
Here’s a peek at the app. @GovRaimondo says if you opt in to the location diary, the app will monitor and track of all the places you spent more than 10 minutes. That data is stored on your phone only and automatically deleted after 20 days. pic.twitter.com/DgLzWNHi0D
— Kim Kalunian (@KimKalunian) May 19, 2020
While potentially effective, contact tracing raises some issues. If personal information and privacy was a concern of yours, then it’s justified. Political agents in Michigan were able to access data from those who signed up for contact tracing programs in order to expand their voter outreach campaigns.
The new app for Rhode Islanders might be less intrusive as it only keeps user data stored for 20 days. It also doesn’t share or store location data when someone comes into contact with an infected person. This app is also being developed for an international market.
While it seems that there are some reasonable privacy safeguards built into Crush COVID RI, one can never be too secure with their personal data in the information age.
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