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Technology Fargo app developer defends contact tracing app despite privacy concerns

10:10  23 may  2020
10:10  23 may  2020 Source:   valleynewslive.com

Apple, Google bring COVID-19 contact-tracing to 3 billion people

  Apple, Google bring COVID-19 contact-tracing to 3 billion people Apple Inc. and Google unveiled a rare partnership to add technology to their smartphone platforms that will alert users if they have come into contact with a person with COVID-19. People must opt in to the system, but it has the potential to monitor about a third of the world’s population. The technology, known as contract-tracing, is designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus by telling users they should quarantine or isolate themselves after contact with an infected individual.The Silicon Valley rivals said on Friday that they are building the technology into their iOS and Android operating systems in two steps.

A contact tracing app pushed by the governors of North Dakota and South Dakota as a tool to Concerned citizens have been eyeing the tradeoff between controlling outbreaks using apps and The app generates an anonymous code for every user. The Jumbo Privacy report noted that the

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A contact tracing app pushed by the governors of North Dakota and South Dakota as a tool to trace exposure to the coronavirus violated its own privacy policy by sharing location and user identification information with third-party businesses, according to a report from a tech

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum is defending a contact tracing app that’s come under fire by privacy groups for sharing user data to big tech companies.

a person sitting on a bed © Provided by Fargo KVLY-TV

The same goes for the Fargo-based developer of the app, Tim Brookins.

Thursday night, we first told you of reports indicating the CARE19 app was sharing data to third parties.

Yet, the Republican governor on Friday said he’s supporting the app, which his health department had a hand in launching for contract tracing.

It’s an app Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said he supports.

“It's actually safer as far as tracing and knowing what you've done. But, it really helps you try to remember who you were with that day,” Mahoney said.

Virus 'tracing' by smartphone: a key to reopening society?

  Virus 'tracing' by smartphone: a key to reopening society? Can an app contain the pandemic? Interest is growing in smartphone technology as a potential key to ending lockdowns and reopening economies around the world. Digital "contact tracing" would allow mobile systems to log instances where people have been in proximity with an infected person and send alerts where appropriate. Researchers and health agencies around the world have been ramping up research on the potential solution, which could get a boost from a joint initiative by Google and Apple to make tracing more effective.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A contact tracing app pushed by the governors of North Dakota and South Dakota But tech privacy company Jumbo Privacy reported this week that developers included lines of code Civil liberty groups and tech watchdogs have warned about contact tracing apps , saying

A contact tracing app pushed by the governors of North Dakota and South Dakota as a tool to trace exposure to the coronavirus violated its own privacy But tech privacy company Jumbo Privacy reported this week that developers included lines of code that send users' location and identification

What the app does is let’s say, for example, you get COVID-19. The app will retrace your steps and see other people you have come in contact with in the past few days.

In an interview last week that lasted more than 30 minutes, the app’s developer Tim Brookins reassured us several times no one had access to the data.

“The thing is with our app, we're contractually bound that data sits in the server. I am literally the only person that has access to that data,” Brookins said back on May 15. “We share data with no one. It just sits in the cloud in this tiny little server in Iowa. And nobody ever sees it.”

Brookins also said the app wouldn’t identify users by name and they’d be assigned to a random number.

“We don't collect any personal information. So you don't put your name in. No phone number. You don't put your email address. Nothing like that. The app just actually gets assigned a random number when you install it. That's all we even know you by. A random number,” Brookins said.

Apple, Google say users to control virus 'tracing' tool

  Apple, Google say users to control virus 'tracing' tool Apple and Google said Friday their coronavirus "contact tracing" technology would enable smartphone users to control their own data, and that the system would likely be shut down after the pandemic ends. The underlying technology being developed by Google and Apple, expected in early May, has rankled some officials in Europe seeking central control of the tracing data. The Apple-Google document said public health authorities would have access to the technology but that any apps "must meet specific criteria around privacy, security, and data control.

A smartphone app developed by Britain's National Health Service (NHS) could be rolled out within three weeks, its technology chief said on Tuesday, despite privacy The service added that the app runs in the background and would not drain battery life excessively – one of the concerns of phone users.

Care 19, a coronavirus contact tracing app , shares location and user information with third-party businesses, according to a report by Jumbo Privacy . But tech privacy company Jumbo Privacy reported this week that developers included lines of code that send users' location and identification

A study by privacy app developer Jumbo Privacy blew a hole into that notion claiming that Google, Foursquare, and other companies have access to your location data.

Foursquare is a company that connects advertisers to people.

Jumbo Privacy recommended users do not download the CARE19 App, expressing concern your data may be shared with advertisers.

Brookins declined speaking on camera, yet in a statement to Valley News Live criticized Jumbo Privacy. He said Foursquare doesn’t store the data. CARE19 only sends data to Foursquare.

Yet, on Thursday in an interview with the tech publication Fast Company, Brookins credited the discovery of the issue as a “good catch.”

Brookins didn’t respond to our follow-up email.

More than 76,000 people have downloaded the app, Brookins said in that May 15th interview.

Jumbo Privacy declined commenting on its criticism of the CARE19 app, only saying “we care about facts.”

In a statement, Governor Burgum’s office said the CARE19 data is not shared for “commercial use.” They also said the app’s privacy policy was updated to explicitly identify the involvement of a third party.

Apple and Google launch digital contact tracing system .
Apple and Google rolled out a unified programming interface that will allow public health departments to create their own contact tracing applications. Apple and Google are not building contact tracing apps.MORE: I took the contact tracer training, and here's what I learned "Starting today, our Exposure Notifications technology is available to public health agencies on both iOS and Android," Apple and Google said in a statement. "Today, this technology is in the hands of public health agencies across the world who will take the lead and we will continue to support their efforts.

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