Leading-Edge Law: Virginia’s new virus-alert app for smartphone passes the privacy test | Business News

After investigating and speaking with Jeff Stover, director of health informatics and integrated surveillance systems at VDH, my privacy concerns are allayed.

Stover said the app was designed to maximize user trust by avoiding use of any information-gathering or technology that could be used for snooping. The app will not identify you.

The app is built upon functionality recently added to operating systems by Google and Apple that allows phones to store and exchange anonymous keys over Bluetooth, he said.

No information regarding app users is kept on a central server. There is no registration process. The app keeps records by anonymous Bluetooth keys stored only on users’ phones. The app collects no GPS or personally identifying information.

The app of those notified will tell the user only that he or she had prolonged, recent exposure to an unnamed person who reported on the app testing positive for COVID-19.

The

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