OBX Connection Home > OBX Connection Forum > Covid tracker on cell phones
Covid tracker on cell phones

By: wayne
8/25/2020 4:49 PM

I just discovered that a Covid exposure tracker has been installed on my iPhone. It will detect when I am in the vicinity of someone else who has the app also that has been exposed. It is not activated yet but will be once the phone is updated.

To see if it is on your phone:
Iphone- Settings>, Privacy>>, Health.
Android- Settings>, Google setting

VA had hired a vendor to make this app available to those who wanted it...I didn't know they were going to track everyone.

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By: Mstaszew
8/25/2020 4:57 PM

I just read the description of the feature in iOS settings. I think there's going to be a run on tin foil here shortly.

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By: Greg MD
8/25/2020 5:18 PM

iPhone, made in China right?

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By: hatterasnc
8/25/2020 6:04 PM

Disable it. Needless worry.

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By: J4yDubs
8/25/2020 6:29 PM

You have to opt in to it. You actually have to first download the state app, if it exists, and then opt in. No chance it will be activated via an update.

It's not tracking you, at least not your location or other personal information. It generates a randomized ID (it changes periodically) that is broadcasted via low power Bluetooth (just think "limited wireless"). It also listens and logs other ID's around you. That's it. When someone tests positive, they tell the app and then anyone that's has had contact with that person is notified. It will not tell you who or where just that you may have had exposure to someone that has tested positive. You can delete it and opt out at any time.

The nice thing here is that Google and Apple worked together (this doesn't happen much) to make a standard (API), so they work regardless of the phone you have. It's going to be a hard sell to get people to use it, but I guarantee that if you have an Android or iOS smart phone, you're already be tracked WAY MORE than this app will do.

John

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By: Aliphatic
8/25/2020 9:01 PM


but I guarantee that if you have an Android or iOS smart phone, you're already be tracked WAY MORE than this app will do.

John

J4yDubs


Yup.

Remember the protests? Certain groups of police were able to use real time cell phone data to kettle protestors.

If you were going to protest, the advice was to leave your phone at home and write the number of a lawyer and your emergency contact number on your forearm with sharpie.

The rest of your post is also pretty spot on. I think the “ID” for bluetooth refreshes like every 6 hours or something.

From a tech perspective, it’s a pretty cool collaboration between competitors (Google and Apple).

Of course I have most of my credit cards loaded into my phone, so I’m sure Apple already has a ton of info on me.

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By: obx bingy
8/25/2020 11:28 PM

At the risk of being ridiculed all I am going to say look back at older posts involving the situation we are now involved in with the covid dilemma, toll passes and other such tracking devices. It is happening and we cannot stop it.

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By: Aliphatic
8/25/2020 11:58 PM

At the risk of being ridiculed all I am going to say look back at older posts involving the situation we are now involved in with the covid dilemma, toll passes and other such tracking devices. It is happening and we cannot stop it.

obx bingy


I have no ridicule for you this evening, but what are you on about?

If you don’t own any property, don’t own a home, and no one in your household owns or uses a smart phone, maybe you can sneak under the radar.

What are you trying to get at here?

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By: J4yDubs
8/26/2020 8:57 AM

At the risk of being ridiculed all I am going to say look back at older posts involving the situation we are now involved in with the covid dilemma, toll passes and other such tracking devices. It is happening and we cannot stop it.

obx bingy

No ridicule. There is a price to pay for some of the conveniences that technology brings. If you don't want or need those conveniences, don't get them. No one is forcing you to use them.

John

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By: Bill
8/26/2020 9:56 AM

Disable it. Needless worry.

hatterasnc


Unless you have a COVID tracking APP that YOU install it cannot be turned on.

but that said, I imagine there is a run on Tin Foil

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By: hatterasnc
8/26/2020 10:20 AM

Disable it. Needless worry.

hatterasnc


Unless you have a COVID tracking APP that YOU install it cannot be turned on.

but that said, I imagine there is a run on Tin Foil

Bill


I posted "needless worry" because it will only tell you if you have been near a positive person. Maybe. Or it will just scare you.

But as far as tin foil, ask yourself the questions.
How do they know a person is positive? How are they tracked? Is it the equivalent of having an electronic scarlet letter on you? How accurate is it? Why would you want someone (like the State/Commonwealth) to track your location? For what purposes?

Don't believe for a second that "Unless you have a COVID tracking APP that YOU install it cannot be turned on."
It can, and it will.

Those that would sacrifice Liberty for safety deserve neither.

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By: lowtide
8/26/2020 10:27 AM

A Covid tracker would be a great way to protect us all by monitoring the movement of people, especially those from areas of high case numbers that flee to areas of lower infection rates. I have yet to understand why people accept closing schools due to fear yet feel it okay to travel and take the kids on a vacation to areas where the schools are closed due to Covid concerns. Maybe a Covid tracking system would enable governments to keep all people safe at home. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Stay home. USA Flag

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By: J4yDubs
8/26/2020 10:59 AM

Again, location is not tracked. This is easily verifiable. Any theory or statement you make that says it is being tracked is false.

John

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By: Mstaszew
8/26/2020 11:36 AM

But as far as tin foil, ask yourself the questions.
How do they know a person is positive? How are they tracked? Is it the equivalent of having an electronic scarlet letter on you? How accurate is it? Why would you want someone (like the State/Commonwealth) to track your location? For what purposes?

hatterasnc


The answers to all of these questions are available online by Googling. Wired has a decent article. The highlights... It determines how long you've been in close proximity to others by exchanging rotating, random IDs. Contacts > 14d old are discarded from the data (or it should be lol). If someone else using the tracker uses the app and identifies themselves as having tested positive then it looks at others they've been in close contact with, for a length of time, and then notifies. From what I gather a passing glance in the grocery store will not trigger as a contact. As mentioned before, your location is not tracked. Your closeness to others is tracked using non-personally identifiable information.

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By: lowtide
8/26/2020 11:36 AM

Tracing/tracking.....semantics.



"Though contact tracing apps were, in theory, a great way to track the spread of the virus at scale, the reality hasn’t lived up to the hype. Despite Apple and Google’s best efforts to make a tool that could keep track of users’ contacts while still preserving their anonymity and sending minimal data to public health authorities, many people don’t like the idea of tech companies or the government having any access to their health information."

www.vox.com/recode/2020/8...

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By: obx bingy
8/26/2020 11:39 AM

Aliphatic, this is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak as to population tracking and monitoring of population movement, do you really think the two developers of the system worked together on purpose I doubt it as they are fierce competitors, I would bet the government had some money tied up in this and it was profitable for both developers. The big one is going to come when they finally develop a vaccine for the covid. Micro chip is all I will say. And I may come across harsh in some folks world but I am a realist in this type of issues. Sure we can be tracked through all types of issues we deal with in our daily lives and modern technology can be a wonderful thing but I fear it is going to be used against us even more than it is already is.

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By: obx bingy
8/26/2020 11:43 AM

Forgot did you or I or Wayne request this app. did anyone ask for your permission to install it, things are happening now that was science fiction 20-30 years ago.

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By: hatterasnc
8/26/2020 11:54 AM

Again, location is not tracked. This is easily verifiable. Any theory or statement you make that says it is being tracked is false.

John

J4yDubs


Well, then. It is settled.

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By: J4yDubs
8/26/2020 12:09 PM

Forgot did you or I or Wayne request this app. did anyone ask for your permission to install it, things are happening now that was science fiction 20-30 years ago.

obx bingy

No app has been installed for you or Wayne. You need to manually install the app for your state. It's not being done automatically. You have to then opt in to the tracking.

Again, location is not tracked. This is easily verifiable. Any theory or statement you make that says it is being tracked is false.

John

J4yDubs


Well, then. It is settled.

hatterasnc

With regards to the COVID-19 tracking being discuss here, yes. Very much settled, unless of course you have evidence to the contrary? The truth does matter, especially with something as sensitive as this.

John

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By: J4yDubs
8/26/2020 12:18 PM

Tracing/tracking.....semantics.
"Though contact tracing apps were, in theory, a great way to track the spread of the virus at scale, the reality hasn’t lived up to the hype. Despite Apple and Google’s best efforts to make a tool that could keep track of users’ contacts while still preserving their anonymity and sending minimal data to public health authorities, many people don’t like the idea of tech companies or the government having any access to their health information."

lowtide

You link is broken. I'll link it below.

You also left out the last sentence in that paragraph. A national app would have made things a whole lot easier. Anyway, not sure how it hasn't lived up to the hype when only Virginia currently has an app you can download. There's no way to live up to a hype when you can't even use it.

John

www.vox.com/recode/2020/8...

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By: hatterasnc
8/26/2020 12:41 PM

Very much settled, unless of course you have evidence to the contrary?
John

J4yDubs


You first. You claimed it, now prove it.

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By: hatterasnc
8/26/2020 12:56 PM

Getting back to the OP question, how would you behave differently if you got a notification that you were in close proximity to a flu-positive person? I would expect that notifications would be frequent if all positive testers put their status in, based on the extent of testing and the fact that we are now approaching herd immunity (in spite of ourselves). You may get unrelenting notifications.

What would you do? Run out and get tested right away? Worry and fret that you are going to be symptomatic, or worse, die like the news reports tell you? Stay at home and limit outside activities even more? Are you better off knowing; would you do anything different?

How does this improve the human condition, and mental welfare, of citizens? Hence my "Needless worry."

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By: B_Pur
8/26/2020 12:57 PM

This discussion reminded me of a fascinating episode of 60 Minutes from April. Although it seems you need to have a CBS All Access account to watch it, I've linked to the full story.
"On New Year's Eve, a small company in Canada was among the first to raise the alarm about an infectious disease outbreak. Its computer algorithm calculated where the virus might spread next. The technology could change the way we fight another contagion."

www.cbsnews.com/news/coro...

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By: obx bingy
8/26/2020 1:17 PM

Jay4Dubs, valid point you made about requesting it hopefully for now that will be the case , as this develops I would not be surprised if it will automatically be put in place with no options to delete it. Time will tell as the political situation dictates.

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By: J4yDubs
8/26/2020 1:32 PM

Very much settled, unless of course you have evidence to the contrary?
John

J4yDubs


You first. You claimed it, now prove it.

hatterasnc

What am I proving? You're the one that stated it tracks location.

"But as far as tin foil, ask yourself the questions.
How do they know a person is positive? How are they tracked? Is it the equivalent of having an electronic scarlet letter on you? How accurate is it? Why would you want someone (like the State/Commonwealth) to track your location? For what purposes?"

This link should answer those questions. Your turn...

www.google.com/covid19/ex...

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