China launches app that detects if you are close to someone with coronavirus

Platform uses other popular applications in China to detect if you are close to someone suspected of the new coronavirus

China has been joining forces to contain the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. Last week, the government launched an app that alerts you when you are near someone infected or suspected of being infected with the virus.

Called “Close contact detector”, the application operates through other popular applications in China, such as the Alipay, WeChat, Weibo and QQ. The platform was developed by three different bodies: CETC (China Electronics Technology Group Corporations), by the General Office of the Council of State and the National Health Commission.

How it works

china coronavirusNamed “close contact detector”, a new application developed by China alerts you if you are close to someone with suspicion of the new coronavirus

To alert if a close person may be infected with the new coronavirus, the contact detector near China uses a large amount of data about people. According to a statement from the Chinese government, the CETC has received support from several agencies to obtain reliable and accurate data. In addition to the entities mentioned above, there was support from the Ministry of Transport, Civil Aviation Administration, among others.

To use the detector, the citizen needs to scan a QR Code in the local applications (Alipay, WeChat, Weibo and QQ). Then, you are asked to fill in some personal data (name, phone number and identity). That done, we can say that the user will be monitored, in order to avoid contamination by the new coronavirus by other citizens.

coronavirus chinaTo identify someone suspected of having a coronavirus, the application was supported by several bodies

The application starts to map people who are possibly infected. If it is detected that the user was close to someone with the coronavirus, the platform itself generates an alert for you to go to your home and immediately seek health authorities.

O “Close contact detector” holds a list of Chinese suspected of infection. The resource considers, for example, schoolmates, work and family. In other words, they are places with agglomeration and that there are great chances of contamination.

people in ChinaChina known for monitoring its citizens

In fact, the new application will help the Chinese government to control and combat coronavirus. The platform, however, is another means for local authorities to monitor their citizens.

Despite the controversy surrounding this, experts argue that the novelty against the virus is welcome. Technology lawyer Carolyn Bigg in a BBC interview says that in China and all over Asia, data is not seen as something to be blocked, something that can be used, provided it is done transparently and with consent.

Source: Interesting Engineering.

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