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Colorado’s COVID-19 contact tracing app to go live Sunday

phones, robocall, spam -GIEQS

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado will be the first state in the country to deploy a phone app to help track COVID-19 cases.

The State of Colorado partnered with Google and Apple to develop "Exposure Notification Express," which will go live on Sunday.

The app is expected to notify users if they have possibly been exposed to COVID-19.

Starting Sunday morning at 9, Coloradans will receive a notification on their phones allowing them to choose if they want to use the app or not. The app is available for both iPhones and Androids. Users can opt-out of the system at any time.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment believes the new exposure notification app will speed up contact tracing efforts.

If you and someone you come in close proximity with both have the app on your phone, your phones will exchange what are called "tokens" via Bluetooth. Those "tokens" log close interactions for 14 days. If someone who has the app tests positive for COVID-19, those who have those close contact "tokens" with that person will be alerted if the COVID-19 patient gives permission.

"You would get an alert on your phone that would say on X-date, you might have been exposed to COVID," CDPHE's Sarah Tuneberg said.

KRDO asked state health officials how Coloradans' personal information will be protected if they use the app. State officials claim that even if the system is hacked, there would be no relevant or personal information compromised.

"The technology couldn't be more safe. There is no personally identifiable data that is collected. It uses Bluetooth and not GPS. So there's no location information. There are no names. There's not test data. There's not health information," Tuneberg said.

So what information is processed to know who will be notified? Officials say it's all about those "tokens", which are apparently are comprised of random numbers and letters.

"The only information that is associated with it is a random string of letters and numbers that's generated on the phone itself and is traded back and forth with other phones, and that's it. So if you could hack into a phone or a database of this, all you would end up with is a series of letters and numbers," Tuneberg explained.

Public health leaders told KRDO that studies show that if 15% of the community uses the app, it could decrease COVID-19 transmission by 8% and coronavirus deaths by 6%.

For iPhone users, the exposure notification system will be a setting option. Android users will be required to download an app in the Google Play store.

Coronavirus / Local News / News / State & Regional News

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Comments

9 Comments

  1. Government approved Spyware, available now before Black Friday.

    Attempting to state that it doesn’t track your location seems counter intuitive because it’s sole intent is to do exactly that in case you were close to someone that had CO-VID within a designated timeframe.

    1. Oh no, the government would never ever misuse their ability to track it’s citizens. Ever. Trust us, we’re from Washington. We’re here to help you!

    1. Anyone can be sued by anyone at anytime.

      #1 – There is no legal precedence and

      #2 – There is no legal statute requiring the usage of this app.

      #3 – Whomever is suing the other would have to have personal knowledge that the other didn’t use this app. And if this data isn’t being shared then how would they have that information?

      1. I love the there is no legal precedent. Well guess what, not a single law had any precedent until the first time it was used after it’s enactment and a ruling was passed by a judge.

  2. “only if the patient gives permission”?
    That’s the best part,Hi you contacted a (fatal illness) from me and thought the help of the “STATE” you might be able to find out when I gave it to you
    But that’s only if I wanna share the info……here’s a secret…..you got it from the gloryhole at the
    Capitol building.

  3. #KingPolis is destroying Colorado!! We need to get him out now!! If you haven’t signed the recall petition, please use this link to find a location in your county to go sign!!! (Note** you cannot sign online, there is a spam site out there, so please use this one only). We are down to the last couple weeks to get this done!!
    https://www.dethronepolis.com/

  4. I’m quite sure Nazi’s like Chelsea would love to make this mandatory but until such time GFY. Come to think of it, even if it were mandatory GFY.

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