South Africa’s Covid-19 contact tracing app has been downloaded less than 1 000 times, since it was launched earlier this month.

Public fearful of invasion of privacy with Covid-19 alert app

“This app does not allow for anyone to track your movements and goes through stringent review with Apple and Google.”

CAPE TOWN – Not only are South Africans confused on how the Covid-19 Alert SA app works, but others believe that the app can be used to track your location.

Despite security experts dismissing the privacy and spying concerns, social media abound with false messages that the app is designed to access the people’s information.

Mobile app expert Alastair Hendricks said the app does not allow for anyone to track your movements and that it went through stringent review with Apple and Google. 

Explaining how the app works, via a Twitter thread Hendricks said Apple and Google collaborated to create a secure, privacy-preserving way to log exposures between devices using Bluetooth.

SEE ALSO:SA’s contact tracing app’s usefulness depends on you

He explained the implementation uses random IDs that can’t be used to identify a user or their location.

“Instead, your phone periodically checks all the random IDs associated with positive Covid-19 cases on a server against its own list. If you test positive for Covid-19, you would log this in the app and it would upload your random IDs. This app does not allow for anyone to track your movements and goes through stringent review with Apple and Google,” he said.

However, most South Africans are still not sure about the contact tracing app, which has been downloaded less than 1 000 times, since it was launched earlier this month.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has also urged the public to download the Covid-19 Alert SA app.

SEE ALSO: Government launches Covid-19 contact tracing app

This app is designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by notifying you if you have come into contact with somebody that has tested positive for Covid-19.

The app is free and available to anyone based in South Africa. It is available on the Google Play Store for Android phones, or on the Apple App store for iPhones.

 

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