Tool to assist in alerting citizens to possible risk of infection, and to support in tracking spread of disease.
Doctors and researchers at the University of Washington with Microsoft volunteers have built a tool to alert citizens about highly relevant public health announcements, potential exposure to COVID-19, and to assist public health officials and contact tracing teams without compromising personal privacy. Personal data always stays on your phone, unless you decide to share it.
User privacy is an essential aspect of contact tracing. We cannot over-stress the importance of this. Although we cannot provide specific guidance, there are a number of useful tools to review when considering contact tracing solutions. In no particular order: the Safra Centre at Harvard University has some good resources, there’s a useful checklist of considerations here, and MIT has undertaken extensive work in this area. Privacy International is also exploring different technologies – including Bluetooth (used in many contact-solutions). The developers of Singapore’s contact tracing solution also highlight that automated contact tracing is not a panacea.
CovidSafe is an app that seeks to reduce the spread of coronavirus in the community, specifically by helping people learn if they've been exposed, connecting them to the appropriate public health guidance, and by enabling effective contact tracing. CovidSafe also reduces the burden on public health systems by offering people who have been positively diagnosed and their potential exposures, a safe, private, and fast way to communicate this information to the people who need it — public health authorities and their contact tracing teams.