COVID radar, the Contact tracking application in Spanish is now available. These days, its driver starts at La Gomera, but users can already download it from the Android Google Play Store to check how it will go. Initially, its use is limited to the area of the test phase but, if the reception is positive, its use will be extended to the national level.
After several weeks of the project announcement, we were finally able to test the Spanish contact tracking application. These are our impressions of COVID Radar, an application based on the Apple and Google systems developed by Indra in collaboration with the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence.
How does COVID Radar work and what options it offers
Just download COVID Radar, the first initial screen that appears is a description of the application. They welcome us and explain that it is currently in pilot phase, only operational in San Sebastián de la Gomera. In addition, they remind us that any alerts we receive if we are in the area will be simulated.
For this to work, we need to activate Bluetooth.
The third step is to activate Bluetooth. The refuse or allow button will appear automatically. In addition, we should also allow the application to be active in the background.
We also need to activate the COVID-19 exposure reporting system. The latter is the system created by Apple and Google for contact tracking. It is a system that stays in the background and “securely shares random IDs with nearby phones”.
After activating Bluetooth and the tracking system, we can access the main screen. The design of the COVID Radar is very neat and combines the colors white, green and lilac in a very clean way.
The main page is very simple: it will inform us if we are at risk or not and if the application is active.
In addition to a small image, we have three main buttons. The first is notice if we are exposed to COVID. If we have not received an alert, it will appear in green. Initially, a result of “low exposure” appears. If we press, the update date and recommendations for what to do will appear.
The second point is that of the active COVID Radar. This is where we can choose whether we want the application to be active or not. Finally, there is the section for communicating a positive from COVID. As we see, the app at the moment is quite simple and doesn’t have its own settings menu. We also don’t think this is strictly necessary and we appreciate that simplicity prevails.
Confidentiality is a point which is very clear. We also have a screen to contact by phone or email in case of doubt.
Confidentiality is something we are trying to clarify at all times. The operation is also quite simple, since you don’t have to do anything to make it work. If in doubt, the application itself has a section with phone number to report incidents or contact by email.
COVID Radar only requests notification permissions. It does not require a telephone or location permit.
The COVID radar currently does not have many more secrets. The application uses the DP3T protocol decentralized and only requests notification permissions to send us the notice. Other types of permissions such as storage, phone or location are not present. And it is that at no time we are asked for the name, phone number or any other additional information.
If we turn off Bluetooth or click the option, the app will stop running in the background. A reminder notification will appear.
If we decide to block Bluetooth, the app will stop working. We will receive notification of notifications explaining that the DP3T SDK cannot function properly. It is interesting to see that this advice comes from two sides; on the one hand from the COVID Radar itself and in addition to the Google COVID-19 exposure notification system itself.
The application, unlike the Italian version Immuni, allows you to take screenshots. As we have seen, its operation is based on the installation of the application in the background via Bluetooth. Meanwhile, it will detect which other terminals with the app have been close. In the event that one of these mobiles communicates that it is infected, a notification will arrive to warn us that we have been close to it.
What happens if we want to report a contagion
If we have not been diagnosed and have not received any notification, we should a priori continue with the usual measures. What happens if we test positive? This is when we should use COVID Radar to warn other users.
For the moment, being in the Canary Islands test phase, this option is not available for all users. The objective is to carry out a series of simulated waves and to verify the user’s response. If you are in the test area, we recommend that you download the application to participate in the pilot.
If it is positive, we can send the diagnosis (and alert other users) by inserting a code that the authorities send us.
In the menu to send your diagnosis, a place will appear to share a code. This 12-digit number will be provided by the health authorities, they will send it to us after giving a positive result. This number is always the “confirmation” that we have actually tested positive and we are not a random user trying to send false alerts. Well, that will be exactly what is done during the testing phase.
In our case, after placing a random number, the warning appears if we want to “share your random identifiers with Radar COVID”. The application explains the following:
“Your random identifiers from the past 14 days will be used to alert people close to you that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Your identity will not be shared with anyone.”
But logically, having no correct code, the system returns an error.
COVID Radar will not start tracking contagions with simulated positives until July 6. After, there will be three waves of simulated infections on July 19, 13 and 17. Finally, from July 20, the data obtained will be collected and a study will be carried out on how the pilot went to study its feasibility as an application at national level.
From the Google settings, we can consult the applications that use the “COVID-19 exposure notification” system.
Since the Google Settings> COVID-19 Exposure Notifications We can check which apps we have installed that use this system. This is where we can also turn off notifications and make two options that we found quite interesting.
The first is that we can manually delete the generated random IDs. By doing this, one thing happens and that is that it will be as if during this time we had not used the application.
We can manually delete the generated random IDs and verify the submitted keys.
In addition, we can consult the exposure controls. In other words, the mobile checks if our random identifiers match those that have been marked as positive. To access this screen, we need to place the fingerprint or mobile PIN code, as it contains sensitive information. It is essentially the check the time, the number of matches and the hash sent.
In Xataka | Decentralized vs centralized: the great debate on the proximity system to be implemented to monitor citizens
Source : Xataka.com