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.
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.
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.
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.
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