Cell phones in Brazil gain Covid-19 contagion alert

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The Ministry of Health reported this afternoon that cell phones in Brazil will have access to a technology that warns of Covid-19 contagion.

The novelty is the result of an unprecedented partnership with Apple and Google, industry giants that have developed a way for users to be aware if they have contact with people who have tested positive for the disease.

The alerts will be issued through the free application Coronavirus – SUS. You must have it installed on your smartphone. The function starts to apply today for cell phones with Android system. The folder explained that an update for iPhone (iOS) will be released “in the next few days”. About 10 million people already have access to the official government app.

In a statement, the ministry stated that Covid-19’s positive case tracking technique “will be an essential factor in the population’s transition to everyday life and, at the same time, helps to manage the risk of new outbreaks”.

How it works

In recent years, the Bluetooth chip in the cell phone has become popular. It performs wireless communication with surrounding devices. It is through it that a smartphone perceives the presence of another. The technology developed by Apple and Google scans and keeps track of all other smartphones that have been within a radius of 1.5 to 2 meters and for a period of 5 minutes.

The Exhibition Notification System does not store names or phone numbers. It assigns a random identification to the devices. When a user tests positive, the system takes into account that random identification to alert all other smartphones that have it saved in memory.

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The Ministry of Health will make the cross between the examination informed by the person and the integrated records of the surveillance platform (e-SUS Notifica) and the National Health Data Network (RNDS). These are databases that gather information from patients with Covid-19 in Brazil.

The folder explained that notification will alert that it is a preventive measure and that the person will not necessarily have the disease, but that it is necessary to be aware of the symptoms and reinforce hygiene. It will also guide you to seek the nearest health service if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or shortness of breath.

Smartphone owners can disable the feature at any time.

Privacy

The system created by Apple and Google takes into account the privacy of users. It does not use geographic location information, for example, an indication that it is not possible to know the movement of users

The application Coronavirus – SUS does not have access to any personal information, such as CPF, name or phone number. The data is saved only on the user’s device and goes through the encryption process, so that interception of communications would not allow knowing the content of the records – just as WhatsApp does with conversations.

The Brazilian government informs that the app underwent an “exhaustive sequence of tests” conducted by the manufacturers before being made available in stores for download.


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