App Spotlight: TraceCovid

May 4, 2020

An app to help with contact tracing.

Times are tough at the moment. With the ongoing threat of the Covid-19 pandemic, many are still forced to stay at home and only go out for a grocery run and for other essential travel. Since the coronavirus can easily be passed on to any person, the spread of infection is much higher – which is why contact tracing is one of the ways health authorities can easily identify people who might be infected.

Enter the TraceCovid app, a way for you to know if you have been in contact with someone who is infected. TraceCovid uses location parameters on your smartphone to connect with other users as a way to make contact tracing easier. Let’s say two persons have installed TraceCovid and one person, unfortunately, becomes infected, the app can immediately inform the other person about it and can contact the relevant authorities for treatment.

It was explained that TraceCovid uses a Secure Tracing Identifier which is the main data that is exchanged between other users. The data is stored only on the smartphone and will not be shared with anyone for privacy reasons. Bluetooth is also used to exchange data between your device and other users as a way to make contact tracing easier.

Privacy, of course, is the main concern here. The makers of the app assured everyone that only data needed for contact tracing will be used. Additionally, any information that you share (if you mark yourself for example) will be accessed by the relevant authorities. At the moment, it looks like TraceCovid isn’t using the native APIs that Google and Apple have announced a few weeks ago, but there’s a good chance that it will be updated soon. 

I usually open TraceCovid and let the app run in the background when I head outside, it will also give you details if you’ve come across someone who has also installed the app. 

I understand that some users might have reservations using TraceCovid especially with privacy concerns but at the moment, it is one of the ways that we can keep ourselves safe amidst the ongoing pandemic.

The TraceCovid website has a few details and answers to some questions that you may have, which I can recommend that you read through before you install the app.

TraceCovid is a free app available for iOS and Android users.

by Victor
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff.