Contact Tracing App For COVID-19 Now Free To Developers Globally

Trace Together is a contact tracing app that uses Bluetooth to track if one has been close to a COVID-19 patient.

Published24 Mar 2020, 11:40 AM IST
Tech News
2 min read

Trace Together is an app by the Singapore government that has already been installed by 620,000 people. This contact tracing app can identify people who have come within 2 metres of COVID-19 positive patient for at least half an hour using wireless Bluetooth technology.

In a bid to fight the global coronavirus pandemic, the Singapore government is now making the code for this app open-source, which means it can be modified and used by developers globally to trace people. It will help infected people track and identify who they have been in close contact with – an essential step in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Trace Together app is available on the Google Play Store and IOS app store in Singapore, but now that the code is available, expect new apps to come up in other markets.

How Does Trace Together Work?

Trace Together is an app that uses Bluetooth technology to detect when it is near another phone that has the app installed. Phones which have the app exchange anonymous IDs, which are encrypted and stored, even if you don't know the other person.

If any user gets infected with COVID-19, that person will be asked to give government or contact tracers access to the Trace Together data. This is a list of anonymous IDs that the person's phone has been close to.

The app says it doesn't collect any geo-location or any other personal data, which makes it data-privacy rule friendly. The anonymous IDs will help contact tracers track down people who have been in close proximity to the user. This will help quickly contain the spread of the disease.

Now that the Singapore government has opened access to the source code of this app, expect more apps to come out from different countries and governments for this purpose. It can not only be used for COVID-19 but can be tweaked to trace individuals afflicted with any other disease if there is any other outbreak.

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