Will You Download the New COVID Alert NY App for Your Phone?
Governor Cuomo announced Thursday the newest technology in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. It's called the COVID Alert NY. It's an app that you put on your phone and it will alert you if you are close to someone that has tested positive for COVID-19.
In Thursday's press conference Governor Cuomo said, “What this app will do is it will tell you if you were within six feet of a person who tested positive" The app doesn't actually record your location or any personal info instead it's basically building a database of people that have been in contact with each other. In order for the COVID Alert NY App to work both people would need the app on their phone.
Some people have been worried that any kind of coronavirus tracker on your phone would allow the government to know exactly where you are whenever they want or even steal you data. Those same people have expressed concern that it's an invasion of their privacy. Sorry to be the breaker of back news, but if you have a cell phone, the government can and probably does keep tabs on your location.
However, the new COVID Alert NY works on Bluetooth technology. Basically, our phones will send phones near us a random code by Bluetooth. If someone with the app comes down with COVID-19 it will alert all the other people that were within 6-feet of the positive person so they can be tested.
There's also a health log option that allows someone to track symptoms and anonymously share them with researchers. There's also information about COVID transmission rates, positive cases, and info on how to prevent getting sick.
For people that are worried that this is some kind of data tracker or it's "Big Brother" watching us. The app is open code so anyone can look at the program and see how it works. Experts have verified that there aren't any data collectors or GPS trackers in the app.
According to the Times Union, the app was paid for with federal funds and money from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The app has cost about $700,000 to develop.
You can download the COVID Alert NY app from your app store for Apple and Android phones.
I'm downloading ti to my phone so I'll let you know how it works over the next few weeks.