University of California San Diego launches Apple-Google framework COVID-19 app

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2020
University of California San Diego will launch a new coronavirus exposure notification app designed with the Apple-Google framework, with wide availability by the end of September.




The voluntary program, which will be available to students, faculty, and staff, works the same as many other tracker apps that have been developed this year. While the framework has been available for some time now, California's Department of Public Health has been hesitant to adopt it. UCSD will function as a proof-of-concept that could open up the app to the rest of the state.

As with other trackers, if a person on campus tests positive for the coronavirus, they can opt-in to notify others of potential exposure.

"We then can offer them, as UCSD Health, a key-code to put into the app and it's that key code that starts that anonymous exposure notification process," Dr. Christopher Longhurst, Chief Information Officer of UC San Diego Health.

That person's identity is anonymized during the process, and all information is held on-device, rather than in the cloud. An "exposure token" is exchanged via Bluetooth instead of WiFi or cellular data, and location data is neither gathered, nor stored in any way.

If a participant is within six feet of someone who has registered as testing positive for the coronavirus, they will receive a notification on their phone alerting them of possible exposure.

"The alert that would come up would say something along the lines of, 'you may have been exposed to a person who was diagnosed with COVID,'" explained Longhurst.

The pilot program, said to launch in late September, will last four weeks. If the program proves successful and is approved by the California Department of Public Health, it will be available to all Californians.

A fourth-year student at UCSD told NBC 7 that he was interested in the program, but was wary that the program might put his privacy at risk.

Pennsylvania recently announced that they too would be launching a COVID-tracking app based on the Apple-Google framework.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    What if someone/everyone or groups of disgruntled make this as April fools day? Then there will be hysteria. The whole campus is exposed per say. 
  • Reply 2 of 12
    The unrolling speed is ridiculously slow. 
    kurai_kage
  • Reply 3 of 12
    The unrolling speed is ridiculously slow. 
    Agreed.  By the time cities and states get around to adopting this, we'll be full swing into vaccines and then what's the point?
  • Reply 4 of 12
    ITGUYINSD said:
    The unrolling speed is ridiculously slow. 
    Agreed.  By the time cities and states get around to adopting this, we'll be full swing into vaccines and then what's the point?
    I think Apple and Google were hoping that these apps would be made by local governments, and it seems, local governments have no interest in doing this.
    kurai_kagegadgetfreak-apple
  • Reply 5 of 12
    JinTech said:

    I think Apple and Google were hoping that these apps would be made by local governments, and it seems, local governments have no interest in doing this.
    Yep. The Federal government thinks the states should do it.  The states think either the Feds should do it, or the counties.  The counties think it should come from the state or the Feds.  The cities don't see the point unless it's part of a large initiative at the country or state level.  The citizens are divided into two camps:  1) no way in hell big brother is going to trace me (as they proceed to post said thoughts on Facebook ... or 2) please for the love of God would somebody roll this out already.. it does not seem difficult!
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 6 of 12
    JinTech said:

    I think Apple and Google were hoping that these apps would be made by local governments, and it seems, local governments have no interest in doing this.
    Yep. The Federal government thinks the states should do it.  The states think either the Feds should do it, or the counties.  The counties think it should come from the state or the Feds.  The cities don't see the point unless it's part of a large initiative at the country or state level.  The citizens are divided into two camps:  1) no way in hell big brother is going to trace me (as they proceed to post said thoughts on Facebook ... or 2) please for the love of God would somebody roll this out already.. it does not seem difficult!
    Exactly my thoughts. 
  • Reply 7 of 12
    Kuyangkoh said:
    What if someone/everyone or groups of disgruntled make this as April fools day? Then there will be hysteria. The whole campus is exposed per say. 
    Hence the required unique key-code from the health department. That’s standard across these systems exactly to prevent such malicious sabotage. 

    edited September 2020 StrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 12
    But surely the unique code removes the privacy of the exposure system?
  • Reply 9 of 12
    But surely the unique code removes the privacy of the exposure system?
    How?

    The health department did the test so they know who the patient is. The key-code releases the patients device to start the anonymized process from their phone’s stored data, which is also anonymized. Utilizing unique Bluetooth exchanged tokens. 
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Kuyangkoh said:
    What if someone/everyone or groups of disgruntled make this as April fools day? Then there will be hysteria. The whole campus is exposed per say. 
    It doesn’t work that way. You need a test result to confirm positive status. 
  • Reply 11 of 12
    JFC_PA said:
    But surely the unique code removes the privacy of the exposure system?
    How?

    The health department did the test so they know who the patient is. The key-code releases the patients device to start the anonymized process from their phone’s stored data, which is also anonymized. Utilizing unique Bluetooth exchanged tokens. 
    Thank you for that. However I recall reading there is extra data sharing at that moment. I don’t recall the specifics. I guess it links the patient to the phone, which were previously unconnected... I feel there is more that I’m forgetting, but if nobody else is suspicious here, that’s reassuring.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    JFC_PA said:
    But surely the unique code removes the privacy of the exposure system?
    How?

    The health department did the test so they know who the patient is. The key-code releases the patients device to start the anonymized process from their phone’s stored data, which is also anonymized. Utilizing unique Bluetooth exchanged tokens. 
    Thank you for that. However I recall reading there is extra data sharing at that moment. I don’t recall the specifics. I guess it links the patient to the phone, which were previously unconnected... I feel there is more that I’m forgetting, but if nobody else is suspicious here, that’s reassuring.
    No, your own individual phone is the only device that knows that unique anonymous Bluetooth token belongs to you. 

    The only thing the positive test result phone knows is that what it was somewhere near that unique anonymous Bluetooth token. There is no, repeat no, connection between the two phones

    The health department sends out a message that essentially says “notify these unknown tokens”.   No idea who they are – – but they’ll recognize their unique token when it comes by

    Your phone quietly in the background recognizes the code — out of the many that roll-on past from the health department.   Your phone tells you and nobody else
    JinTechappleinsideruser
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