California's Exposure Notification System Rolling Out on iPhone Thursday

Apple and Google's Exposure Notification system has been rolling out to many states and countries across the world, and starting this Thursday, California, the most populous state in the U.S., will get access to Exposure Notifications.

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California COVID Notify has been in testing at UC Berkeley and other UC campuses since earlier this year, but on Thursday, Exposure Notifications are set to roll out to all iPhone and Android users across the state.

CA Notify takes advantage of the Exposure Notification Express system that Apple implemented in September with the release of iOS 13.7. Californians with an ‌iPhone‌ can go to the Settings app, tap on Exposure Notifications, select the United States, and then choose California to opt in with no need to download an accompanying app. On Android, users need to download an app that's launching on December 10.

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The ‌Exposure Notification‌ system for California was developed by UC San Diego Health, which will provide infrastructure, education, and support that includes a call center and public website.

As with all ‌Exposure Notification‌ apps, California's implementation requires users to opt in to the program and no one will be signed up without consent. When activated, the app uses Bluetooth to interact with the smartphones of the people you come into contact with, monitoring who you're near.

If one of those people is later diagnosed with COVID-19 and shares that diagnosis through the ‌Exposure Notification‌ system, you'll receive an alert letting you know about possible exposure so you can follow the next steps as directed by California's health department.

As TechCrunch points out, Californians will receive a notification when they're within six feet of a confirmed COVID positive individual for a period of 15 minutes or more. Apple and Google's ‌Exposure Notification‌ system was designed with privacy in mind. GPS data and personal identifiers are not collected, and only anonymous keys are transmitted and shared with others.

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Your privacy is protected. The California COVID Notify Privacy Policy is available at https://covid19.ca.gov/notify/#privacy. Your GPS location data and personal identifiers are never collected or shared with other users. Your phone shares anonymous keys (randomly generated strings of numbers) with other users via Bluetooth. The only data collected by the app are the anonymous keys, Bluetooth signal strength, date, and duration of proximity. This information is not linked to your identity or location.

On ‌iPhone‌, enabling Exposure Notifications in California requires iOS 13.7 or later, and the program will be active starting on December 10.

At this point, many states have implemented Exposure Notifications, including Virginia, North Dakota, Arizona, Delaware, Nevada, Alabama, Colorado, Wyoming, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Washington, Connecticut, Nevada, and the District of Columbia.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Top Rated Comments

CarlJ Avatar
47 months ago

Fresh off of banning abilities to conduct business all across the state, and after California has forced citizens into house arrest, now they want to also track your location and human interactions.
GO READ THE ****ING SPEC ('https://covid19-static.cdn-apple.com/applications/covid19/current/static/contact-tracing/pdf/ExposureNotification-FAQv1.2.pdf'). The software cannot track your location or who you interact with because it has been specifically designed to make that impossible.

You are spreading harmful misinformation. This will get people killed, and you are playing a part in that. STOP NOW.
Score: 78 Votes (Like | Disagree)
crawfish963 Avatar
47 months ago

We now have evidence of just how slow and non-agile Apple is. Vaccines can be developed, tested, and distributed faster than Apple can shove halfbaked software out to a platform they fully control.
You're blaming the wrong entity. It's up to each state/nation to develop protocols and eventually code to utilize tracking. Apple provides APIs, the state/nation does the rest.
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ScottishDuck Avatar
47 months ago

We now have evidence of just how slow and non-agile Apple is. Vaccines can be developed, tested, and distributed faster than Apple can shove halfbaked software out to a platform they fully control.
Which would make sense if apple developed this software... which they didn’t.

Apple and Google developed the exposure notification system, which has been available for a long time.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
47 months ago

Hard Pass.
Can I ask why?

* The way information is gathered is completely anonymized (just the industry standard randomized Bluetooth Low Energy ID that changes every 15 minutes that cannot be traced back to you in any way).
* If you have Bluetooth enabled anyway, which is true for most people, no impact on the battery life.
* Getting more information can help you take more precaution. When enabled, iPhone will notify Californians if they were within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer with someone who tested positive/or would test positive for COVID-19 in 14 days window. All you will know is the date you came in contact with someone.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
m.x Avatar
47 months ago

We now have evidence of just how slow and non-agile Apple is. Vaccines can be developed, tested, and distributed faster than Apple can shove halfbaked software out to a platform they fully control.
Excuse me, but this is simply not true.

April 10th:
Apple and Google today announced ('https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/04/apple-and-google-partner-on-covid-19-contact-tracing-technology/') a joint effort that will see them using Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus around the world.
Source: Macrumors ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/04/10/apple-google-covid-19-contact-tracing/')

August 5th:
Virginia this week became the first U.S. state to release a COVID-19 exposure notification app using Apple's and Google's jointly developed API, as noted by Kyle Carmitchel on Twitter ('https://twitter.com/kiggle/status/1290994599671017475'). The app is available now on the App Store ('https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1518059690').
Source: Macrumors ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/08/05/virginia-covid-19-app-apple-google-api/')

Apple did the part they could do. The rest is up to local politicians and regulations.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DocMultimedia Avatar
47 months ago

We now have evidence of just how slow and non-agile Apple is. Vaccines can be developed, tested, and distributed faster than Apple can shove halfbaked software out to a platform they fully control.
This has absolutely nothing to do with Apple. Google/Apple released the framework that anyone can use very early on. It's up to individual states/countries to make an app (and they can download a vanilla one when they wish). Virginia came out with their app very early. The depressing part is that no one bothers to install the app.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)