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Should your company install the COVID tracing app?

by | Jul 7, 2020 | Managed Service

tracing

With contact tracing finally taking hold, we’re moving in the right direction to match countries like South Korea that are leading the way with tracing the outbreak of the virus.

Many governments around the world are working on different tracing apps.

Some are going with a decentralised approach.¬† Other countries are building apps that won’t disclose any personal information.

We’ve had many questions on how these apps will work which we’ll attempt to answer here.

tracing

We almost jumped the gun when we first heard about efforts to release a tracing app.  Our IT management solution provides an ability to deploy apps to all devices to our clients at the click of a button.

Known in the industry as mobile device management.  It is extremely useful for updating apps, applying patches and general management of smartphones.

We then started to think about the implications of deploying tracing apps.  We decided to let our clients know the potential risks.

1 ‚Äď Privacy issues

As the employer, you are opening yourself up to a world of privacy issues if you install the app on work devices.

Many of the apps around the world don’t track and record personal information.¬† However, there are a few countries that will have a centralised database.¬† This database holds information on who you interact with and come into contact with.

This type of data can be deemed as personal.  It may be a breach of privacy without consent even though tracking is taking place on a company device.

tracing app

2 ‚Äď Capability of the app tracing

Having the app on both a work device and the personal device might reduce the capability of the app.

Apple-Google have collaborated and will ask you to opt into a system that causes your phone to emit Bluetooth signals to other phones around you.

When you are close to another person for an extended period of more than five minutes, typically both of your phones record the interaction.  When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they will have the option of anonymously notifying other phones that they may have been exposed to the virus.  Also, encouraging their contacts to self-quarantine or seek treatment.

This data may not be as useful if your workforce carries both personal devices and work devices.  As work devices are not always carried by employees over weekends and breaks.

If you would like further information on how the tracing apps are intended to work and how your workforce can safely install the apps on their device, please get in touch with us for some expert support.

Please¬†email¬†[email protected]¬†or¬†call¬†1300 766 455.

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