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What do you think about the coronavirus contact tracing app that some countries are urging their citizens to download?

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If you are staying home, like we are supposed to be doing, then there isn't any point, except the 1 day a month you go out for groceries and other necessities.

OTOH, if you are someone making it possible for everyone else to stay home, 1st, thanks. Second, thanks. Third, try to limit your exposure to any single person's "cooties" by limiting breaths in range to just a few.

Contact apps by the govt are scary. They can easily become abused for other purposes. What assurance do we have that the data and abuses won't happen? Just ask the CCP how they are using Hauwei technology in their detention of Muslims and tracking once they are finally "re-eductated."

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/16/world/asia/china-xinjiang-documents.html

Not all govts are evil, but not all govts are good either.

I won't be loading any app, but I routinely forget to take a phone with me, so that really isn't a big deal.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

This was the plan from the beginning right? They just developed this after covid19 came onto the scene? A little quick

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I do not have a smart phone and nor does anyone in my family. Just for this reason.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think it's great to have such apps to track any civilian who might have the virus, but even with scrutiny, the risk of leaks of personal information is inevitable. The government can confidentially use GPS tracking to somehow control their citizens. Although I believe this risk is low, there are people who are trained with hacking techniques and can easily penetrate into the system and abuse the information. To ensure this doesn't happen, the government should propose more explicit security measures to the public and make it clear that the app is just used for the health of the country's citizens and not for any other political activity.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Interesting to see people jumping to conclusions that the government wants to get as much information from their people as possible. This 'Covid 19 tracker' App is just that. It allows you to know if you were in close contact with anyone who gets diagnosed with the virus in the last certain number of days. It doesn't track your everyday movements. It just recognises whether you were in close proximity to the carrier (if they too also has the app.), not where you were exactly at the time of risk.

You probably passed on more information to collect your ¥100,000 but never really thought about the government trying to track you then?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It's a gateway for increased mass surveillance to put it bluntly. Heck, China enforced a color-coded QR code for its citizens that will prevent you access from buying stuff and entering certain areas like a game, while South Korea uses cellphone numbers, CCTVs and credit card info to track you, awesome but scary. The thing here is this, if the government does insist that it is just for the pandemic, then you'd be wrong. The mere fact that such capabilities exists, would mean that they can probably use it without permission and those apps may just be providing our end with a two-way radio that used to be a one-way beacon

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It shouldn't be compulsory as privacy rights could be largely abused. In Japan there isn't enough legal, constitutional backing to curb individual freedom for the sake of public interest or national security. No matter how efficient it is, such tracker app could pave the way for Orwellian society.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Interesting to see people jumping to conclusions that the government wants to get as much information from their people as possible. This 'Covid 19 tracker' App is just that. It allows you to know if you were in close contact with anyone who gets diagnosed with the virus in the last certain number of days. It doesn't track your everyday movements. It just recognises whether you were in close proximity to the carrier (if they too also has the app.), not where you were exactly at the time of risk.

Exactly, how do you know this is true?

I'm a long-time programmer and have worked on Android applications. Effectively, there's no way for anyone outside the development team to make those determinations. Static analysis works for noob-programmers, but for an expert trying to hide capabilities, it isn't sufficient. Further, it is not hard to make your application appear to not us the GPS, while asking another library to use it through dynamic loading and unloading of the code. The data can be retained, encrypted, and transmitted to different internet addresses at a later time based on triggers. Apps do this all the time. Google has required that location services (GPS) be enabled whenever bluetooth is enabled for about 4 yrs. There's no technical reason for these features to be tied together. They weren't previously, but are now. Why?

Sadly, I'd trust Google and Apple to actually make an app that does what it claims as far as providing any data to our different govts, but I wouldn't trust google not to be tracking the phone everywhere it goes ... er ... because they've been caught multiple times doing just that. Both Google and Apple have successfully fought the USGovt in court. They've both lost too.

Trust, but verify is harder when it comes to code.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Never let a crisis go to waste."

... no app for me...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I would rather err on the side of caution.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@theFu

I'm not a programmer at all but if what you say is true, I stand corrected. I based my opinion on the app that the Australian government released and I could not see whether they were able to physically trace where you were using GPS. My point is that I feel people jump to conclusions that the main reason to produce an app like this is for the government to spy on them. Like you said, Google and Apple do it, but people still seem to allow them to do that by buying their products/services. When it comes to something like this app. though, people don't realize the benefit we all could get from it to help control Covid 19.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is possible to hide dynamic loading and unloading of code even when the source code is provided. It is called obfuscation.

https://medium.com/better-programming/code-obfuscation-introduction-to-code-obfuscation-part-1-93a6797349b0 It is a common practice.

https://www.preemptive.com/blog/article/1146-no-beans-about-it-why-you-need-javascript-obfuscation/106-risk-management

I have no reason to think that AUS or India's tracking apps aren't anything other than exactly what they claim, but without putting those apps into a controlled environment for 6 weeks and watching their true behaviors, I wouldn't be able to say.

Companies have profiles on us all. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/data-harvesting-by-companies/ I think Twitter and Facebook only have shadow profiles for me, caused by other people.

Normal people have no idea how much data is available on them. None of us are really that interesting, until we are for some other reason.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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