Premier: Plan To Launch Contact Tracing App

August 29, 2020

“Our information and digital technology team has been working hard to launch a pilot of our own Bluetooth contact tracing app using the protocol developed by Apple and Google,” Premier David Burt said.

Speaking at Thursday’s [Aug 27] press briefing, Premier Burt said, “As I move on to the management of the pandemic, from a technology perspective, it is important to know that technology will be ever more important as we look to manage the impacts of the virus going forward.

“Our information and digital technology team has been working hard to launch a pilot of our own Bluetooth contact tracing app using the protocol developed by Apple and Google. The app has been developed by CovidWatch, a non-profit organization that evolved out of a research collaboration between Stanford University and the University of Waterloo.

“The CovidWatch app is presently being used for a pilot with the University of Arizona, prior to the adoption by the state of Arizona and is being considered for additional pilots within universities in California. The app itself uses the Apple Google protocol which was developed in accordance with leading global research to ensure privacy in contract tracing efforts and it will be launched and managed by CovidWatch, and not by the Government of Bermuda directly.

“The Health team will be provided with the ability to generate a unique code that can be shared with an individual who has tested positive which will notify any users that individual was in close contact with and could be at risk, without any indication of who it has come from, or the location or date of the potential exposure, so preserving full anonymity.

“Those notified individuals would be encouraged to contact the Health team to assist with monitoring and treatment should they develop the virus. By design, the government itself does not collect or have access to any details related to whom you were in contact with or where, which will be signed off on by the Privacy Commissioner before launch. So it is important to note we have designed and taken the time to make sure that we get this right.

“There have been many countries with these things have been attempted but because they rushed these things to get them out to market, they did not take into account all of the considerations.

“We have made sure that we have put this in place in combination with research universities in the United States and Canada. They will be managing this for us so we know that we will have the best of breed app that preserves privacy so we will have the widest possible penetration to allow more of us to go about our routines.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. What about a Bermudian company? says:

    I am aware of a Bermudian company who gave Government access to a contact tracing application but they were dismissed and obviously overlooked!

  2. Imjustsaying says:

    Yup here we go, a puppet government next when they introduce microchipping they will obey and force it on the public.

    • Angus says:

      How is this a contact tracing app?

      From the description the Health Department does not, and cannot get any information about individuals who have not tested positive, nor the locations of contact with individuals who have tested positive. The only information they have is on the person who tested positive already, and those that come in and say they have been in contact with a person who tested positive. But what good is this to contact tracing?

      It is actually a tracking app of people who have tested positive. Think about it for a bit. If the person tested positive, and got a tracking number, then they are quarantined until they are safe and allowed to be in public. So tracking them and alerting other people that they came into contact with a person that once had Covid-19 but is no longer a risk is meaningless.

      However, as a person who once tested positive, and been issued a number, your personal details are known, and you can be tracked via that number. Which is no different than the tracking bracelets that the Government has spent money on already. But more importantly your are being tracked for no reason. It is like a catch and release programme.

      Secondly, Do you ever wonder how much money our “tech” happy Premier is squandering on “tech toys” that aren’t adding public value? But instead is eroding privacy. The Digital ID for citizens is another where there a) has been no accomplishment, and b) when complete also puts individual personal details in the hands of the Government.

      In the end the only thing that is happening is that our “tech” savvy Premier is trying to score points by obscuring the truth behind technology. A truth that is given more and more of our personal data to the Government, and adding zero value to the public.