Contact tracing has gone hi-tech and now fits directly in the palm of your hand. A tracing application began popping up on people’s personal devices this week.
Alerting people to the new app, many people were prompted to enable, “exposure notifications.” The new contact tracing app allows phones of those who have opted in, to interact with each other.
"I thought it was a really good idea, but then I was like, I don't know if it's an invasion of my privacy,” said Cameron Evans, of Hartford.
State officials say they expected some people may be unsure of the app, but stressed it would not collect, transmit, or store personal information. Still, some remain leery.
“The whole idea of being tracked is somewhat disturbing,” said Virginia DeLima of West Hartford.
Some security experts say many of these concerns are unfounded. Tim Weber, of ADNET Technologies, said because the app uses Bluetooth technology rather than GPS, locations are not tracked.
“That allows for what they’re trying to accomplish without being potentially a way to track people’s movements," said Weber. "Which was a gigantic concern.”
Weber explains each cell phone, of those who’ve opted in, collects 14 days of connections. Each must be with in 6 feet and for a duration of at least 15 minutes. If one of those connections inputs they have tested positive, those who’ve been in close contact will be alerted anonymously.
“Everything’s been around privacy because the last thing you want to do is create a scarlet letter type situation or someone gets outed as being the one who has Covid,” added Weber.
It also protects against irresponsibility. Weber says, for someone to input a positive test result, they must first receive, and enter a confirmation code from the health department.
According to state officials, at least 300,000 people have already opted in.