Contact-tracing app to launch in October

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Using Apple and Google smartphone technology, the ‘Jersey COVID Alert’ app will notify Islanders if they have come into contact with anyone who later tests positive for coronavirus.

The project in Jersey is being led by Digital Jersey chief executive Tony Moretta, who tweeted: ‘Pleased to announce that the Jersey COVID Alert app will launch in early October based on the successful implementation in Republic of Ireland by @NearForm.

‘Also already deployed in N Ireland, Scotland & Gibraltar. More details to follow in coming weeks @GovJersey @DigitalJersey.’

The app will launch in Jersey in the week beginning 12 October.

According to Irish-based developer Nearform’s website, it uses Bluetooth technology to detect the smartphones of other users and record contact with them.

Users will be required to enter a key code into their smartphones and update their status if they test positive for the virus.

The site says: ‘The app must be made by or for the use of an official government public-health authority and can only be used for the purpose of responding to Covid-19.

‘The app needs to ask consent of a user to actually employ the API before it can be used. [It] requires a user’s consent to share a positive test result before broadcasting any such info to the public health authority operating the app.

‘The app should only gather the minimum amount of info necessary for the purposes of exposure notification, and should use that only for the sake of a Covid-19 response. Using these apps for any kind of advertising or other non-Covid purpose is explicitly forbidden.’

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