A crime reporting app shifts to tracking COVID-19, raising privacy questions

Advertisement

BEGIN ARTICLE PREVIEW:

Privacy advocates worry that Citizen’s exposure notification shows the exact address where a person was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Citizen

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Citizen, an app that lets you see unverified crime reports in your neighborhood, has often been used to advance false claims. One doozy: A tiger reportedly loose in Manhattan that turned out to be a raccoon. Now the company wants to help cities track cases of COVID-19. On Wednesday, Los Angeles County said it was partnering with Citizen for its contact tracing app SafePass. The app, unveiled in August, works as a digital pass for logging your symptoms and location. It uses Bluetooth and GPS to track your interactions with other people using the app. If someone you’ve been in contact with later tests positive for COVID-19 and marks themselves on the app, the app notifies you about the exposure and provides details on when and where it happened.The officials, including Mayor Eric Garcetti and public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer, encouraged the area’s 10 million residents to download the app. Advocates, however, have warned that SafePass’s location-tracking features are …

END ARTICLE PREVIEW

READ MORE FROM SOURCE ARTICLE