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New smartphone app can help you know if you've been exposed to COVID-19.
On Monday, Governor Inslee announced that Washington residents have a new way to help stop the spread of COVID-19. WA Notify is a completely private app for smartphones that can inform people if they have been exposed to COVID-19 by another app user who later tests positive. Here's how the app works:
The app uses a Bluetooth signal to determine when app users are in proximity, and exchanges a random, anonymous code for use in future notifications.
What it can't do? Share data on your activity with anyone. It doesn’t collect data and doesn’t need to know who you are or where you go to work to function effectively.
The app has been thoroughly reviewed by an independent privacy oversight committee which included security and civil liberties experts and community leaders. The free app can be enabled from the settings of Apple iPhones or downloaded for other phone brands. It is designed to work in tandem with the traditional contact tracing by phone call that is already underway statewide and has been launched with 29 languages built in.
Similar technology has been deployed in Virginia, New York, and Colorado, as well as in other countries such as Ireland, Canada, and Germany.