Traceability applications have been well received


After just two days, Australia's Covidsafe app attracted more than two million downloads, double what Singapore's TraceTogether achieved in a month.

On April 26, Australia announced the Covidsafe application, using Bluetooth technology to record close contact to prevent the spread of Covid-19. After only 5 hours of deployment, the application reached one million downloads and by April 28, this number increased to 2.44 million. Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said the app was popular and the number of downloads exceeded the initial expectations of the development team.

Singapore, meanwhile, was one of the first countries to launch traceability applications in mid-March. However, just over one million people now download TraceTogether. A similar app TraceTogether in India currently attracts 50 million downloads on Android phones, but only a fraction of the population of more than 1.3 billion.

Tracing applications, exploiting low-power Bluetooth positioning technology, will exchange signals with smartphones and install applications in close distance and save contact logs. When a new Covid-19 infection is detected, the patient's contact history is sent to smartphones for comparison. If they match, users will receive a warning about the risk of infection.

This solution is being cared and developed by governments in many countries such as the US, UK, Germany, France, India, Vietnam ... However, the number of installers will determine the success or failure of the application. in controlling new outbreaks.


Traceability applications are being developed in many countries. Photo: Tuan Hung.

In Vietnam, the Bluezone application, developed by the Department of Computerization - Ministry of Information and Communications, attracted nearly 150,000 downloads after one week of uploading to the app store. Mr. Nguyen Tu Quang, CEO of Bkav, assessed Bluezone and similar tracing applications to act as "electronic masks" to prevent the spread of viruses.

"Whenever there is a new case, hundreds, even thousands of people have to be isolated. We are also worried about whether we have ever come in contact with infected people or not, making life impossible," Quang said. share. "The Bluezone application warns you if you have close contact with people infected with Covid-19, thereby reducing the risk of spreading in the community, helping people to return to normal life, can live with the epidemic until then. world found the vaccine ".

According to the MIT Technology Review, to convince people to install the app, developers need to make them feel secure about privacy. Many people worry that the tracing application will become a government monitoring tool. Australian health officials have denied the fake news spread on social media that Covidsafe "can recognize you within 20 km of your home address." Greg Hunt confirmed that the app does not track the location, but only measures the distance between the user's phone and other phones with the application installed.

Google and Apple, the two companies own Android and iOS - the operating system is installed on more than 90% of global smartphones, confirming privacy is the top priority when designing traceable applications. The application will also stop working when the pandemic ends.

Facing unpredictable consequences of the pandemic, people also began to accept monitoring tools. A Pew Research survey in early April showed that more than half of US participants "partially accepted" the government's use of smartphone data to determine where people who were positive for Covid-19 had gone, exposed to Who. 45% agreed for the government to take this approach to people who may have had close contact with someone infected with the virus.