A poll was conducted to know if the Americans are willing to use the contract tracing app to detect COVID-19 positive individuals and who they got in contact with. But then, security risks have been brought up when the application is in use so it seems that there are many people who are not interested in it. Based on the survey, 3 out of 5 people say that they will not use it.  

Likewise, a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll showed that more than half of the Americans are either unable or not willing to use the contact tracing app. The poll result was released this week before Apple and Google revealed that they are teaming up with developers and public health agencies worldwide to create an effective application for tracing people who were exposed to the infected individuals.

In any case, the two tech giants announced that they are working on the new technology and Apple already previewed its latest iOS 13.5 update that includes the coronavirus contact tracing feature. With regards to concerns on security, the tech companies reviewed the feedback and immediately made revisions to their application proposal to deal with privacy issues and emphasized transparency.

Those who said they will not use the contact tracing app were divided into two groups. The first are those who can’t install the application simply because they do not have smartphones while the other group are those who own a mobile device but are not willing to use the contact tracing app because they are not comfortable with it. Whereas, 59% of smartphone users stated that they will only use it if they tested positive for coronavirus infection. 

Meanwhile, Erez Yalon, the director of security research at application security testing company called Checkmarx Ltd said that it can’t be helped that there will be security concerns because data is shared. He added that while the intent of creating the app was pure and noble as it aims to help address the pandemic, there is really a possibility that it can be manipulated. Thus, he advised the developers to put more importance on security before they roll out the app.  

“The COVID-19 contact tracing applications are made with the best intentions during an unprecedented time but like most applications that collect users’ geographic locations and personally identifiable information, they have the potential to be manipulated into malicious tracking devices,” he told SiliconANGLE. “While speed is critical in rolling out these tracing applications, a quick-to-market process might lower the focus on security and privacy, creating more issues than solutions for end-users.”

Contact Tracing App Tech giants are developing contact tracing app to help curb the spread of coronavirus. Photo by: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay