|Type||Mobile software applications|
COVID-19 apps are mobile software applications for digital contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic, i.e. the process of identifying persons ("contacts") who may have been in contact with an infected individual.
Numerous applications have been developed or proposed, with official government support in some territories and jurisdictions. Several frameworks for building contact tracing apps have been developed. Privacy concerns have been raised, especially about systems that are based on tracking the geographical location of app users.
Less intrusive alternatives include the use of Bluetooth signals to log a user's proximity to other cellphones. On 10 April 2020, Google and Apple jointly announced that they would integrate functionality to support such Bluetooth-based apps directly into their Android and iOS operating systems. India's COVID-19 tracking app Aarogya Setu became the world's fastest growing application, beating Pokémon Go with 50 million users in the first 13 days of its release.
Contact tracing is an important tool in infectious disease control, but as the number of cases rises time constraints make it more challenging to effectively control transmission. Digital contact tracing, especially if widely deployed, may be more effective than traditional methods of contact tracing. In a March 2020 model by the University of Oxford Big Data Institute's Christophe Fraser's team, a coronavirus outbreak in a city of one million people is halted if 80% of all smartphone users take part in a tracking system; in the model, the elderly are still expected to self-isolate en masse, but individuals who are neither symptomatic nor elderly are exempt from isolation unless they receive an alert that they are at risk of carrying the disease. Some proponents advocate for legislation exempting certain COVID-19 apps from general privacy restrictions.
Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, listed a number of potential practical problems with app-based systems, including false positives and the potential lack of effectiveness if takeup of the app is limited to only a small fraction of the population. In Singapore, only one person in three downloaded the TraceTogether app by the end of June 2020, despite legal requirements for most workers; the app was also underused due to the fact that it required users to keep the app open at all times on iOS.
A team at the University of Oxford simulated the effect of a contact tracing app on a city of 1 million. They estimated that if the app was used in conjunction with the shielding of over-70s, then 56% of the population would have to be using the app for it to suppress the virus. This would be equivalent to 80% of smartphone users in the United Kingdom. They found that the app could still slow the spread of the virus if fewer people downloaded it, with one infection being prevented for every one or two users.
In August 2020, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that there are disparities in smartphone between demographics and minority groups, and that "even the most comprehensive, all-seeing contact tracing system is of little use without social and medical systems in place to help those who may have the virus — including access to medical care, testing, and support for those who are quarantined."
App store restrictions
Addressing concerns about the spread of misleading or harmful apps, Apple, Google and Amazon set limits on which types of organizations could add coronavirus-related apps to its App Store, limiting them to only "official" or otherwise reputable organizations.
Ethical principles of mass surveillance using COVID-19 contact tracing apps
The advent of COVID-19 contact tracing apps has led to concerns around privacy, the rights of app users, and governmental authority. The European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the United Nations and the Siracusa Principles have outlined 4 principles to consider when looking at the ethical principles of mass surveillance with COVID-19 contact tracing apps. These are necessity, proportionality, scientific validity, and time boundedness.
Necessity is defined as the idea that governments should only interfere with a person's rights when deemed essential for public health interests. The potential risks associated with infringements of personal privacy must be outweighed by the possibility of reducing significant harm to others. Potential benefits of contact-tracing apps that may be considered include allowing for blanket population-level quarantine measures to be lifted sooner and the minimization of people under quarantine. Hence, some contend that contact-tracing apps are justified as they may be less intrusive than blanket quarantine measures. Furthermore, the delay of an effective contact-tracing app with significant health and economic benefits may be considered unethical.
Proportionality refers to the concept that a contact tracing app's potential negative impact on a person's rights should be justifiable by the severity of the health risks that are being addressed. Apps must use the most privacy-preserving options available to achieve their goals, and the selected option should not only be a logical option for achieving the goal but also an effective one.
Scientific validity evaluates whether an app is effective, timely and accurate. Traditional manual contact-tracing procedures are not efficient enough for the COVID-19 pandemic and do not consider asymptomatic transmission. Contact-tracing apps, on the other hand, can be effective COVID-19 contact-tracing tools that could lead to a R value less than 1 and sustained epidemic suppression. However, for apps to be effective, there needs to be a minimum 56-60% uptake in the population. Apps should be continually modified to reflect current knowledge on the diseases being monitored. Some argue that contact-tracing apps should be considered societal experimental trials where results and adverse effects are evaluated according to the stringent guidelines of social experiments. Analyses should be conducted by independent research bodies and published for wide dissemination. Despite the current urgency of our pandemic situation, we should still adhere to the standard rigors of scientific evaluation.
Time boundedness describe the need for establishing legal and technical sunset clauses so that they are only allowed to operate as long as necessary to address the pandemic situation. Apps should be withdrawn as soon as possible after the end of the pandemic. If the end of the pandemic cannot be predicted, the use of apps should be regularly reviewed and decisions about continued use should be made at each review. Collected data should only be retained by public health authorities for research purposes with clear stipulations on how long the data will be held for and who will be responsible for security, oversight, and ownership.
Privacy, discrimination and marginalisation concerns
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has published a set of principles for technology-assisted contact tracing and Amnesty International and over 100 other organizations issued a statement calling for limits on this kind of surveillance. The organisations declared eight conditions on governmental projects:
- surveillance would have to be "lawful, necessary and proportionate";
- extensions of monitoring and surveillance would have to have sunset clauses;
- the use of data would have to be limited to COVID-19 purposes;
- data security and anonymity would have to be protected and shown to be protected based on evidence;
- digital surveillance would have to address the risk of exacerbating discrimination and marginalisation;
- any sharing of data with third parties would have to be defined in law;
- there would have to be safeguards against abuse and the rights of citizens to respond to abuses;
- "meaningful participation" by all "relevant stakeholders" would be required, including that of public health experts and marginalised groups.
On 20 April 2020, it was reported that over 300 academics had signed a statement favouring decentralised proximity tracing applications over centralised models, given the difficulty in precluding centralised options being used "to enable unwarranted discrimination and surveillance." In a centralised model, a central database records the ID codes of meetings between users. In a decentralised model, this information is recorded on individual phones, with the role of the central database being limited to identifying phones by their ID code when an alert needs to be sent.
In May 2020, it was reported that the authorities in Moscow wrongly fined hundreds of Moscovites for breaching self-quarantine. The dubious behavioral interpretations recorded by the social monitoring tracking application led to the mistaken fining of hundreds of people in Moscow.
Contact tracing apps were deployed rapidly by governments and other initiatives in spring and summer 2020. Initial releases were found to come with incongruent privacy policies, hidden build-in surveillance and location tracing functions, and generally contained few cues about a proper specification and quality assurance process. Code quality in several apps was found as poor, while hardly any of 28 apps surveyed in May and June 2020 managed to address all privacy principles laid forth in the EU's GDPR.
Accuracy of proximity reports
According to ZDNet, Bluetooth-based proximity detection carries a risk of over-reporting interactions and leading to "a huge amount of false positives"; hypothetically, a system could flag an interaction with "(a) person waiting for the bus on the (opposite) side of the road". One problem is that using Bluetooth signal strength to infer distance can be unreliable; the range of a given Bluetooth device can vary due to the environment or the way the device is held. False positives could result in needless self-isolation, or could cause users to ignore warnings if the warnings are perceived as unreliable. GPS-based proximity detection can also be unreliable: according to the United States' GPS.gov, "GPS-enabled smartphones are typically accurate to within a 4.9 meter (16 ft.) radius under open sky", with accuracy decreasing further in the presence of signal blockage. In contrast, social distancing guidelines are usually 2 m (6 ft).
In the Google/Apple mechanism, a log entry is only added on the phone if Bluetooth proximity persists for five minutes (or possibly longer, depending on app configuration). Logs are retained for 14 days. Bluetooth tracking is prone to false negatives; for example, unlike time-stamped GPS matching, Bluetooth cannot detect that a user has entered a possibly-infected space that an infected person has just left.
Centralized contact tracing
Some countries used network-based location tracking instead of apps, eliminating both the need to download an app and the ability to avoid tracking. Israel authorized its secret service (Shin Bet) to use its surveillance measures for network-based tracking. Network-based solutions that have access to raw location data have significant potential privacy problems. However, not all systems with central servers need to have access to personal location data; a number of privacy-preserving systems have been created that use central servers only for intercommunication (see section below).
In South Korea, a non-app-based system was used to perform contact tracing. Instead of using a dedicated app, the system gathered tracking information from a variety of sources including mobile device tracking data and card transaction data, and combined these to generate notices via text messages to potentially-infected individuals. In addition to using this information to alert potential contacts, the government has also made the location information publicly available, something permitted because of far-reaching changes to information privacy laws after the MERS outbreak in that country. This information is available to the public via a number of apps and websites.
Decentralized contact tracing
Covid Watch was the first organization to develop and open source an anonymous, decentralized Bluetooth digital contact tracing protocol, publishing their white paper on the subject on 20 March 2020. The group was founded as a research collaboration between Stanford University and the University of Waterloo. The protocol they developed, the CEN Protocol, later renamed the TCN Protocol, was first released on 17 March 2020 and presented at Stanford HAI's COVID-19 and AI virtual conference on 1 April 2020.
As of 7 April 2020, over a dozen expert groups were working on privacy-friendly solutions, such as using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to log a user's proximity to other cellphones. Users then receive a message if they've been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
A group of European researchers, including from the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), were under the umbrella of the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) project, developing a BLE-based app to serve this purpose that is designed to avoid the need for intrusive surveillance by the state. However, PEPP-PT is a co-ordination effort which contains both centralised and decentralised approaches. On April 17, 2020, EPFL and the ETH Zurich pulled out of the project, criticizing PEPP-PT for a lack of transparency and openness, and for not respecting personal privacy enough. Later it was reported that KU Leuven, the CISPA Helmholz Center for Information Security, the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems and the Technical University of Denmark, also withdrew from the project. On April 26, 2020, Germany switched to decentralised approach to support solutions like DP-3T.
Decentralised protocols include Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (DP-PPT/DP-3T), The Coalition Network's Whisper Tracing Protocol, the global TCN Coalition's TCN ("Temporary Contact Numbers") Protocol, and the MIT Media Lab's SafePaths. The goal of decentralization is to reduce the loss of privacy, by exchanging anonymous keys that do not include identifiable information.
COCOVID is being developed as a common effort of several European companies and institutions. The Mobile Application, the Big Data and the Artificial Intelligence components will be available to any government. The COCOVID app is Open Source and the backend is based on a highly scalable solution that is already used by several of the largest financial institutions in Europe. COCOVID will support the coordination of tests at medical institutions, allowing users with a high infection risk to book a test slot directly from the app. This will reduce the effort and increase the efficiency of the medical test processes. COCOVID will use both location and Bluetooth contact data, allowing a high level of effectiveness. The solution is designed following the EU data privacy recommendations. The team working on the project includes persons from Orange, Ericsson, Proventa AG, Stratio, TH Köln and Charta digitale Vernetzung.
Apple / Google Exposure Notification protocol
On 10 April 2020, Google and Apple, the companies that control the Android and iOS mobile platforms, announced an initiative for contact tracing, which they stated would preserve privacy, based on a combination of Bluetooth Low Energy technology and privacy-preserving cryptography. They also published specifications of the core technologies used in the system. According to Apple and Google, the system is intended to be rolled out in three stages:
- API specification and publication
- rollout of tools to enable governments to create official privacy-preserving coronavirus tracing apps
- integration of this functionality directly into iOS and Android
Google and Apple plan to address the take-up and persistent surveillance problems by first distributing the system through operating system updates, and later removing it in the same way once the threat has passed.
By 20 April 2020, Google and Apple described the systems as "Exposure Notification" rather than "contact tracing", stating the system should be "in service of broader contact tracing efforts by public health authorities". The name change was received positively by journalists in Vox/Recode and Salon, who stated "Exposure notification schemes like the Apple-Google system aren't true contact tracing systems because they don't allow public health authorities to identify people who have been exposed to infected individuals."
List of frameworks
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List of countries with official contact tracing apps
- COVIDSafe is a digital contact tracing app announced by the Australian Government on 14 April 2020 to help combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The app is based on the BlueTrace protocol developed by the Singaporean Government, and was first released on 26 April 2020.
- Stopp Corona is the contact tracing app published by the Austrian red cross on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health. The app is supported both on Android and IOS platforms. The source code was released on 24 April 2020 as open source on Github.
- e-Tabib is an official contact tracing and informational mobile app, prepared by Force Task under the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan. ‘e-Tabib’ is designed to be an application which will inform the users in real-time about the number of patients (both sick and recovered from COVID-19) in Azerbaijan. The app will provide daily updates on the status of COVID-19 from the Force Task under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan (or other applicable authorities designed in the Republic of Azerbaijan). 'e-Tabib' application was created with the assistance of "The Association for the Management of Medical Territorial Units" public entity (TƏBİB), which was established by the decree of the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 20, 2018.
- BeAware Bahrain is the official mobile app for Android and iOS, developed by The Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA), in collaboration with the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The application aims to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by implementing contact tracing efforts to identify and keep track of all active cases and their contacts. It also uses location data of citizens to alert individuals in the event they approach an active case or a location an active case has visited, as well as track the movement of quarantine cases for a duration of 14 days. It also posts health recommendations and live data of global COVID-19 developments; iGA Chief Executive Mohammed Ali Al Qaed said: "The application deploys a tamper-proof GPS Tracking Bracelet to share real time-tracking information with health workers. Health workers are notified when quarantine cases exit their pre-set area by 15 meters, in which case the team will respond by reminding individuals of the importance of following procedures to safeguard the well-being of citizens and residents."
- People's Republic of Bangladesh Government announced & launched a mobile app named Corona Tracer BD in May 2020 in Google Play Store.
- The public ministry of RN launched "Tô de Olho", a multipurpose app (including contact tracing, agglomeration denunciation, selective infectious testing), released in Rio Grande do Norte starting 4 April 2020. The "Tô de Olho" research paper has more details on platform's design.
- On July 31, 2020, the Canadian federal government launched their voluntary, "private, and anonymous" COVID-19 exposure notification app, called COVID Alert which was developed along with Shopify and BlackBerry as technology partners, and has both an iOS and an Android version. The federal COVID Alert exposure notification app is not a contact tracing app and does not have access to information such as user names, health information, addresses, smartphone contacts, or GPS location. The app uses Bluetooth technology to check and share a random list of codes from any nearby smartphones held by people who have tested positive. By mid-November, all the provinces except Alberta and British Columbia had access to the app. The Alberta government had launched their own app in May and in October said that the delay in signing on to the federal COVID Alert app, was to ensure all the existing 247,000 ABTraceTogether app accounts could be "transitioned" to the federal app.
- The Chinese government, in conjunction with Alipay and WeChat, has deployed an app that allows citizens to check if they have been in contact with people that have COVID-19. It is in use across more than 200 Chinese cities.
- In China, within these apps pose three colors as a result of the risk they pose. For example, green is good and can go about normal activities. On the other hand, yellow indicates the user they have been in contact with someone who tested positive with the virus and should exercise precaution. Lastly, red indicates to the user they have the virus and should remain quarantined to not expose others. These tests and colors are shared with the local police. So every QR code is central to a city/district.
- Expatriates taking flights to China must obtain a negative COVID-19 test three days prior to travel. The test must be a nucleic acid test and be certified by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate. This process takes one business day as stated on the Chinese Embassy website.
- CoronApp is the mobile app for Android and iOS –and available for the Huawei AppGallery– developed by the Colombian government. The app, downloaded more than 12 million users (March, 2021), is a free application, which does not consume data; it helps detect affected areas and nearby people with a positive diagnosis for COVID-19. CoronApp facilitates the real-time monitoring of data collected to the Emergency Operations Center of the Instituto Nacional de Salud (National Health Institute, INS). It incorporates technologies such as those developed by the Governments of Singapore and South Korea, as well as Apple. Privacy, the major concern with these applications from organizations around the world, has not been the exception for Colombia: Fundación Karisma points out some vulnerabilities of CoronApp. Along with the criticisms, there were analysis that found strengths and weaknesses in it. As an additional benefit of the app, the Colombian Government financed 1 gigabyte per month and 100 minutes for users of prepaid lines that install it.
- Stop COVID-19 is a mobile app for Android and iOS, developed by an agency of the Croatian government.
- The government launched a Singapore-inspired tracing app called eRouška (eFacemask). The app was developed by the local IT community, released as open-source software and will be handed over to the government.
- Smittestop is a digital contact tracing app developed by the Ministry of Health and the Elderly, the Danish Agency for Patient Safety, the National Board of Health, the Danish Serum Institute, the National Board of Digitization and Netcompany. It was released on 18 June 2020 to help combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The app uses Bluetooth technology to alert the user if they have been within one meter for more than fifteen minutes of a person who tested positive. Available on the Google Play store and Apple store.
- The Fijian government launched the country's contact tracing app which is known as careFIJI. The app uses Bluetooth Low Energy Technology and is based on the BlueTrace protocol developed by the Singaporean Government.
- The Finnish app Koronavilkku launched on 31 August 2020 with Finnish and Swedish localizations. An English translation was released later on.
- The French National Assembly approved the release of StopCovid on 27 May 2020 to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. StopCovid is a digital contact tracing app based on a bluetooth tracing protocol developed specially for the app. It was released on 2 June 2020. The app was later renamed "TousAntiCovid". Updates have also included the addition of a "News" section with daily information about the state of the pandemic in France, as well as a "Forms" section to generate the travel declaration forms needed to go outside during the various lockdowns and curfews.
- The official app called "Corona-Warn-App" was made available for download on June 16, 2020 and presented in a press conference the same day. It was developed as open-source software jointly by Deutsche Telekom and SAP with scientific advice from the federal Robert Koch Institute and uses the Exposure Notification APIs from Google and Apple.
- The official platform in Greece against covid, called Covid Checker, is one of the first solution in Europe against COVID-19 pandemic that was approved and made available on March 29, 2020. Covid Checker is a mobile & web solution designed to identify coronavirus symptoms and associated risk, provide reliable guidance, & connect qualified patients with a doctor for further assistance. Covid Checker powered by Docandu was first released as a widget attached to the governmental websites such as the patt.gov.gr while few weeks later was released as an app in Google Playstore. It was developed jointly by DOCANDU (https://www.docandu.com/en), the Region of Attica (https://www.patt.gov.gr) and the Medical Association of Athens.
- The government launched "GH COVID-19 Tracker App", an Android and IOS app equipped with location tracking technology to provide detailed information about people who have been at the same event, location, country or other defined locations in order to provide accurate information to health authorities overtime to know who to screen and provide needed assistance. The app was developed by the Ministry of Communication and Technology and Ministry of Health. As of 14 April 2020[update], the app was awaiting approval by the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
- The "BEAT Covid Gibraltar" App, based on the App from Ireland, was launched on June 18 with downloads of 15,000 by 8 August, from an estimated 20,000 phone users.
- Hong Kong
- The government launched LeaveHomeSafe on 16 November 2020. It was initially not compulsary for people to use but starting from 18 February 2021, customers are required to scan the QR code with the app or register their contact details before entering some of the restaurants. However, the government refused to open the source code for peer-review by using an excuse of protecting the intellectual property of the program. 
- VírusRadar, an Android app, was launched on May 13 and an iOS version on May 30, 2020. The app uses Bluetooth technology to track unique, random application IDs within a proximity of 2 meters for more than 20 minutes in the previous 14 days. The system has been developed by Nextsense, based on the company's contact tracing technology. According to the developer, a version of the application integrating Google and Apple's API is currently under testing. The app is operated under the umbrella of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology of Hungary, operated by the Governmental Agency for IT Development and supported by Biztributor.
- Rakning C-19 route tracking is a GPS logger app for Android and iOS, with a user interface and content from the national COVID-19 web page Upplýsingar um COVID-19 á Íslandi. When infection is confirmed the route data is used to support more traditional contact tracing. According to MIT Technology Review as of May 11, 2020 it had the largest national market penetration rate of contact trackers in the world, having been downloaded by 38% of Icelanders.
- The Aarogya Setu app is developed by the National Informatics Centre that comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. The app is available on Google Play Store and Apple's App Store for download.
- The official COVID Tracker app was launched by the Irish government on 7 July 2020. Within two days of launch, the app had been downloaded by one million people. The Health Service Executive subsequently made the code behind the app available to other countries.
- On March 22, 2020 the Ministry of Health launched "HaMagen" (המגן,"the shield"), an iOS and Android contact tracing app. Hamagen tracks a user's whereabouts using standard location APIs and then compares them to known movements of those diagnosed with COVID-19, in order to check if their paths crossed within the previous 14 days. The Hamagen app was specifically designed with a privacy-first approach where information about locations and times is cross-referenced on the user's device, and not transmitted on to the cloud database.
- On June 1, 2020 the Ministry of Health launched the Italian Government's exposure notification solution, "Immuni", an iOS and Android contact tracing app build on top of the Google/Apple API. The solution was realized by the Special Commissioner for the COVID-19 emergency (Presidency of the Council of Ministers), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digitalization. It only uses public infrastructures located within the national borders. It is exclusively managed by the public company Sogei S.p.A. The source code has been developed for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers by Bending Spoons S.p.A., and it is released under a GNU Affero General Public License version 3.
- On June 19, 2020 the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare released COVID-19 Contact-Confirming Application (新型コロナウイルス接触確認アプリ, Shingata Koronauirusu Sesshoku Kakunin Apuri, COCOA). It is available on iOS 13.5 or above and Android 6 or above.
- Jersey COVID Alert is the official contact tracing mobile app for Jersey that was released on October 14, 2020.
- The AMAN App - Jordan app is developed for Jordan's Ministry of Health by COVID-19 JOTECH COMMUNITY, a group of tech-savvy volunteers who aim to leverage Jordan's tech talent in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. AMAN is a privacy-conscious exposure detection App. The App was released on May 21, 2020 and is currently available on Google Play Store and App Store. It will be released on AppGallery for download soon. Downloading the App is voluntary and is considered as a moral and human obligation toward the others and the country.
- A consortium of IT companies and volunteers launched decentralized proximity tracing Apturi Covid application on May 29, 2020. It is Android and Apple compatible. The county's president and government ministers installed the application on their phones on the launch day. Application developers hoped to reach 400 000 users, approximately 20% of the country's population.
- The government launched MyTrace on May 3, 2020, one of three tracing app that released alongside Gerak Malaysia and MySejahtera. Gerak Malaysia is a tracing app which allows police and the Ministry of Health to track and analyze users movement, and register for permission to allow state border crossing. MySejahtera is an app introduced by the National Security Council and the Ministry of Health to retrieve updated information and statistics of the pandemic. MyTrace is a tracing app that utilizes Bluetooth to detect how long a user smartphone are in close proximity with other smartphone users with a similar app installed, and is currently available on Android. In the state of Selangor, the state government introduced the SELangkah app in May, a contact tracing app which utilizes QR code scanning. The Selangor government later announced in June that it had merged the SELangkah contact tracing system with the MySejahtera application developed by the federal government.
- Nepal Engineers Association Launched COVIRA app, developed by Science Hub on 22 June 2020,. COVIRA has been developed on a multidisciplinary framework where several facctors are considered to provide the risk level. It can be used for individual risk assessment which can be assessed from all over the world, and regional risk are provided for Nepal in palika level. This is available on web application platform.
- The official contract tracing app by the Dutch government is called CoronaMelder.
- New Zealand
- The Health Ministry launched the NZ COVID Tracer on 20 May, though some users reported being able to access the App on 19 May. The app is available on Apple's App Store and Google Play. NZ COVID Tracer allows users to scan their own QR codes at businesses, public buildings and other organisations to track where they have been for contract tracing purposes. Bluetooth Exposure Notification System was added in December, 2020.
- North Macedonia
- The government launched "StopKorona!" on April 13, 2020, becoming the first country in the Western Balkans to launch a COVID-19 tracing app. The Bluetooth-based app traces exposure with potentially infected persons and is designed to help healthcare authorities provide a fast response. The app was developed and donated by Skopje-based Software company Nextsense. To comply with laws on data protection, the app does not use the users' locations nor personal information. The users' mobile phone numbers are the only user-related data, stored on servers managed by the Ministry of Health.
- The Smittestopp app is developed by the Norwegian government, and uses Bluetooth and GPS signals. On June 15, 2020 the country halted the app over privacy concerns after the Norwegian Data Protection Authority said low infections could no longer justify the risk of privacy invasion by the end user. The app ceased collecting new data and plans to delete all data collected so far with any additional collections effectively paused indefinitely.
- Ehteraz application (app) has allowed Qatar citizens and residents to move with ease and responsibly in the country while helping the authorities prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). A Cabinet decision, which came into effect on May 22, requires citizens and residents to mandatorily install and activate the mobile app on their smartphones when leaving the house for any reason. Since then, more and more entities in the country have made it compulsory for clients and visitors to show the green status on the Ehteraz app to be allowed entry into their premises. Apart from hypermarkets and other retail outlets, banks, as well as several commercial buildings and offices, in Qatar have put in place similar measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Saudi Arabia
- Tabaud is the official mobile app for Web, Android and iOS, developed by the National Health Information Center (NHIC). It allows users to track and trace via Apple/Google Exposure Notification API. More than 1,000,000 users have downloaded the app.
Protect Scotland is the official contact tracing app for Scotland. Scotland uses the Test and Protect method. Throughout the country they test people with symptoms, isolate people who were in close contact with positive testers, and limit exposure to as many people as possible.
- An app called TraceTogether is being used. It uses a digital contact tracing protocol called BlueTrace, developed with an open source reference implementation called OpenTrace.
- The official app called Radar COVID has been released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation for Android and iOS for a pilot test in La Gomera. The app is based on the DP-3T protocol and uses the Apple/Google API for contact tracing and it is expected to be rolled out to further Spanish regions in September. An additional app called OpenCoronavirus has been developed by a group of volunteers. It uses an uncentralized contact tracing protocol called MFP-3T, based on DP-3T protocol but improved to avoid a few security issues.
- An app called SwissCovid which uses the DP-3T protocol and is built top of Apple/Google bluetooth API. Application is licensed under Mozilla Public License 2.0.
Hayat Eve Sığar in English life fits into home. This app for take HES code, mask request,Turkey's COVID-19 density and peoples see contact with risky peoples.
- The NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app for England and Wales was released on 24th September 2020. The NHS app uses Google/Apple exposure notification technology. (The NHS previously tried a centralised system rather than a decentralised approach). Scotland and Northern Ireland contact tracing apps were launched in the weeks prior to England & Wales. To aid contract tracing, the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app for England and Wales allows users to scan official NHS QR code posters at businesses, venues and transport hubs. To ensure data integrity, the QR code is constructed from a JSON Web Signature (JSW).
Countries considering deployment
In the United Kingdom, Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX, the government body responsible for policy regarding technology in the NHS, said in late March 2020 that the organisation was looking seriously at an app that would alert people if they had recently been in contact with someone testing positive for the virus after scientists advising the government suggested it "could play a critical role" in limiting lockdowns. On 22 April, the government announced that alpha testing of a prototype of the app was in progress at RAF Leeming. Beta testing began on the Isle of Wight on 5 May for council staff and NHS workers before a wider rollout to all residents on 7 May. By 15 May, over 72,000 had downloaded the app, equivalent to more than half of the island's population.
On June 18, following reports that the app was only detecting 75% of contacts on Android devices and 4% of contacts on iPhones, the UK government announced that it would cease the development of its centralized system, and move to a decentralized system based on the Apple/Google Exposure Notification system. This was later scheduled for release in England and Wales on September 24; by this date, the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland had already released their own apps.
Many countries have announced the official development, trial or adoption of decentralized proximity tracing systems, where the matching of proximity encounters happens locally on individuals' devices, such as the Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (DP-3T) protocol or the Google-Apple Exposure Notification API. These include Austria, Switzerland, Estonia, Latvia, Canada, Italy, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark.
In the United States, as of 10 June 2020, three states, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Dakota, have committed to using the Google-Apple Exposure Notification API. In May 2020, the U.S. state of Arizona began testing the Covid Watch app developed with the Apple/Google protocol. In August 2020, the app launched publicly for a phased roll-out in the state of Arizona. At least nineteen states have not yet decided, and at least seventeen other states stated there were no plans to use smartphone-based contact tracing.
List of apps by country
Note: This table should list only apps which are either supported by citations from third-party reliable sources, or are from, or supported by, independently notable organizations such as national governments, industrial collaborations, major universities or NGOs, or one of the framework collaborations listed above. MIT Technology Review also maintained a Google spreadsheet listing of COVID-19 tracing app tracker.
|Angola||COVID-19 AO||self diagnostic, information and quarantine enforcement||Web||Ravelino de Castro||Proprietary||https://covid19ao.com/|||
|Australia||Coronavirus Australia||information, isolation registration||Android, iOS||Delv Pty Ltd / Australian Department of Health||in use||Proprietary, source code released||health.gov.au||27/04, 1.89 million; 26/04: 1 million|||
|COVIDSafe||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Australian Department of Health||in use||Proprietary, source code released||BlueTrace||covidsafe.gov.au||07/05, 4 million|||
|Austria||Stopp Corona||contact tracing, medical reporting||Android, iOS||Austrian Red Cross||in use||Apache License 2.0||Exposure Notifications System||www.roteskreuz.at Archived 2020-04-19 at the Wayback Machine|||
|Belgium||Coronalert||contact tracing, medical reporting||Android, iOS||Belgian government, Sciensano||in use||GPL3||DP-3T / ENS||coronalert.be||30/10: 1.7m|| |
|Brazil||VirusMapBR (formerly The Spread Project)||contact tracing, medical reporting||Android, iOS||Manoel Lemos||APK file released, code released||BSD-3||https://github.com/mlemos/virusmapbr|
|Tô de Olho||Contact tracing, Individual and regional risk assessment, Selective infectious testing, Isolation levels monitoring||Android, iOS||MPRN/IMD||in use||Proprietary||https://todeolho.mprn.mp.br/|
|Canada||COVID Alert||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Shopify, Blackberry, Canadian Government||in use||Apache License 2.0||Exposure Notifications System||http://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html|||
|ABTraceTogether||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Alberta Government||in use||https://www.alberta.ca/ab-trace-together.aspx|
|TeamSense||Covid screening app for employees pre-shift symptom screening, reporting and compliance dashboard||Web||TeamSense||In Use||Proprietary||https://www.teamsense.com|
|China||"Health Code"||contact tracing||Android, iOS||integrated into Alipay and WeChat apps||Proprietary|||
|Czech Republic||eRouška||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Czech Ministry of Health and Hygiene||in use||MIT License||Exposure Notifications System||erouska.cz|||
|Denmark||smitte|stop||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Ministry of Health (Denmark)||in use||Proprietary||Exposure Notifications System||smittestop.dk|
|Ecuador||ASI||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society (Ecuador)||in use||MPL 2.0||Exposure Notifications System||asiecuador.com|||
|Fiji||careFIJI||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Government of Fiji||in use||Open Source||BlueTrace||carefiji.digitalfiji.gov.fj|||
|Finland||Koronavilkku||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, THL, Solita, Kela, SoteDigi||Released on 31 August 2020||European Union Public License 1.2||Exposure Notifications System||koronavilkku.fi||05/11: 2.5M, representing 45% of population|||
|France||TousAntiCovid (formerly "StopCovid")||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Government of France / INRIA, ANNSI, Cap Gemini, Dassault Systèmes, INSERM, Lunabee studio, Orange, Santé publique France, Withings, Coalition Network||in use since 2 June 2020||MPL-2.0 and ad hoc||ROBERT||gitlab
|ROBERT (ROBust and privacy-presERving proximity Tracing protocol)||contact tracing||unknown||INRIA||PEPP-PT||github
|CheckYourMask||Checking the correct mask wearing by selfie||Android||Université de Haute-Alsace, Normandie Univ., Lille Univ.||Concept||,|
|Georgia||Stop Covid||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Novid20 / Georgian Ministry of Health||in use||GPL||PEPP-PT||novid20
|Germany||Ito||contact tracing||Android||Partners like TUM||APK file released||GPL3||TCN||www
|OHIOH Research||contact tracing, scientific research||Browser compatible devices||FH Kiel]||progressive web app||OHIOH Copyright@ Tjark Ziehm||TCN||ohioh
|Corona-Warn-App||contact tracing||Android & Apple||Robert Koch Institute||published||Apache License||Exposure Notifications System||https://coronawarn.app/||17/06: 6.5m, 18/06: 8m, 20/06: 10.6m, 25/06: 13.0m, 02/07: 14.4m|||
|Gibraltar||BEAT Covid Gibraltar||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Health Service Executive (HSE) / NearForm||in use
|MIT License||Exposure Notifications System||www
||13/07: 9,000, 08/08: 15,000|||
|Greece||DOCANDU Covid Checker||self diagnostic, information and 24/7 online doctor||Android, Web-based / Web-site Widget||DOCANDU, Region of Attica (Greece), Athens Medical Association (Greece)||in use (2020-03-26)||https://www.docandu.com/en||27/04, 18,000 users|||
|Ghana||GH COVID-19 Tracker App||Android, iOS: awaiting app store approvals||Ministry of Communication and Technology, Ministry of Health|||
|Hong Kong||StayHomeSafe||quarantine enforcement||Unknown||The Government Of The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region||Proprietary|||
|LeaveHomeSafe||contact tracking||Android, iOS, Huawei||The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer||in-use||Proprietary||QR-Code, Self-developed||https://www.leavehomesafe.gov.hk/en/|||
|Hungary||VírusRadar||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Ministry of Innovation and Technology and NextSense||in use (2020-05-13-)||https://virusradar.hu|
|Iceland||Rakning C-19||route tracking||Android, IOS||Iceland's Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management and Directorate of Health||in use (2020-04-01)||MIT License||GPS||https://www.covid.is/app/en||26/04, 50%|||
|India||Aarogya Setu||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Union Government of India / National Informatics Centre||
(Android version open-sourced)
|Apache License||mygov.in/aarogya-setu-app||50million +|||
|COVA Punjab||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Government of Punjab|||
|COVID-19 Feedback||feedback||Android||Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology / Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare|||
|COVID-19 Quarantine Monitor||contact tracing, geofencing||TBA||Government of Tamil Nadu / Pixxon AI Solutions|||
|Corona Kavach||information||Android (discontinued)||Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology / Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare|||
|GoK Direct||information||Android, iOS||Government of Kerala / Qkopy (for Android), MuseON Communications (for iOS)||Proprietary|||
|Mahakavach||contact tracing||Android||Government of Maharashtra|||
|Quarantine Watch||contact tracing||Android||Government of Karnataka|||
|Test Yourself Goa||self diagnostic||Android||Government of Goa / Innovaccer|||
|Trackcovid-19.org||self diagnostic, syndromic surveillance||Web||Trackcovid-19.org||In Use||Open||https://www.trackcovid-19.org/|||
|Test Yourself Puducherry||self diagnostic||Android||Government of Puducherry / Innovaccer|||
|Indonesia||PeduliLindungi||contact tracing||Android, Apple||Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology||in use (2020-06-16)||https://pedulilindungi.id/|
|Ireland||COVID Tracker Ireland||contact tracing,
|Android, iOS||Health Service Executive (HSE) / NearForm||in use
|MIT License||Exposure Notifications System||https://covidtracker.gov.ie
|Israel||Hamagen (Hebrew: המגן "the shield")||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Israeli Health Ministry||in use, open source||MIT License||https://govextra.gov.il/ministry-of-health/hamagen-app/download-en/|||
|Italy||Covid Community Alert||CovidApp for citizens (proximity tracing and exposure notification, optional GPS location sharing), CovidDoc for doctors (scan patient QR code, log patient health status), web dashboard for epidemiologists (set parameters that trigger notifications)||Android, iOS, web||Coronavirus Outbreak Control||Released||Open source, unclear||TCN||https://coronavirus-outbreak-control.github.io/web/|||
|diAry "Digital Arianna"||GPS location tracing, exposure notification, awareness raising||Android, iOS||University of Urbino / DIGIT srl||Released, open beta||MIT License||GPS, own||https://covid19app.uniurb.it/|||
|Immuni||Exposure Notifications||Android, iOS||Bending Spoons / Ministry of Health (Italy) / Presidency of the Council of Ministers (Italy) / Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digitalization||Released||GNU AGPLv3||Exposure Notifications System||https://www.immuni.italia.it/||21/10: 9.229.190|||
|SM-COVID-19||Contact Tracing||Android, iOS||SoftMining||Released||Closed source, private specifications||ReCoVer||smcovid19
|Japan||COVID-19 Contact-Confirming Application (新型コロナウイルス接触確認アプリ, Shingata Koronauirusu Sesshoku Kakunin Apuri)||Contact Tracing||Android, iOS||COVID-19 Radar Japan||Released||Proprietary||Exposure Notifications System||https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/cocoa_00138.html||25/08: 14,790,000|||
|Jersey||Jersey COVID Alert||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Digital Jersey||Released||Apache-2.0 License||Exposure Notification System||covidalert
|Jordan||AMAN (أمان "Safety")||Exposure Detection||Android, iOS||Jordan's Ministry of Health||Released||GPS||https://www.amanapp.jo/en||600,000|||
|Latvia||Apturi Covid||Exposure Detection||Android, iOS||Consortium of volunteers, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Latvia||Released||Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International||Exposure Notifications System||apturicovid.lv|||
|Malaysia||Gerak Malaysia||contact tracing, border crossing registration||Android, iOS||Royal Malaysia Police / Ministry of Health||Discontinued as of July 31, 2020 ||Proprietary||www.gerakmalaysia.gov.my||1 million|||
|MySejahtera||information||Android, iOS||National Security Council / Ministry of Health||In use||Proprietary||QR code||mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/intro|||
|MyTrace||contact tracing||Android, iOS||MOSTI||In use||Proprietary||Bluetooth|||
|SELangkah||Contact tracing||Android, iOS||Government of Selangor||In use, integrated with MySejahtera and Maybank app ||Proprietary||QR code||https://www.selangkah.my/web/|||
|Morocco||Wiqaytna (وقايتنا "Our prevention")||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Ministry of Interior||In use||GNU GPLv3 compatible with open source OpenTrace||Bluetooth||https://www.wiqaytna.ma|||
|Netherlands||PrivateTracer||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Milvum, YES!Delft, Odyssey, The Hague||MIT Licence||Exposure Notifications System||privatetracer
|Netherlands||CoronaMelder||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport||European Union Public Licence||coronamelder.nl|
|Nepal||COVIRA ("COVID-19 Risk Assessment tool")||Individual and regional risk assessment||web||Science Hub||In use||GNU GPLv3 compatible with open source OpenTrace||https://www.covira.info|||
|New Zealand||NZ COVID Tracer||Point-of-interest journal, contact tracing, medical reporting, information||Android, iOS||Ministry of Health||in use||AGPLv3||QR code and||https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz/||1,940,080 registered users|||
|North Macedonia||StopKorona!||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Ministry of Health (North Macedonia), Nextsense||Proprietary||stop
|Norway||Smittestopp||contact tracing, route tracking||Android, iOS||Simula Research Laboratory / Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI)||in use||Proprietary||Exposure Notifications System||https://helsenorge.no/smittestopp||April 20, 1.2m|||
|Poland||ProteGO Safe||contact tracing, medical reporting, information||Android, iOS||authors: Jakub Lipinski, Karol Kostrzewa, Dariusz Aniszewski; supporter: Ministry of Digital Affairs of Poland||in use||GNU GPLv3 + GNU AGPLv3||Exposure Notifications System||github
|Portugal||STAYAWAY COVID||contact tracing||Android, iOS||INESC TEC / ISPUP / Keyruptive / Ubirider||in use||European Union Public License 1.2||Exposure Notification System||stayawaycovid
|Russia||"Social Monitoring"||contact tracing||under development||Infogorod / Gaskar|||
|Contact Tracer||Digital Contact Tracing and Alerting||Android||SoftTree||https://contacttracer.ru|||
|Saudi Arabia||Corona Map||Self Diagnostic Information||Android, iOS, Web||National Health Information Center||in use||https://coronamap.sa/ Apple Store Google Play|||
|Tabaud - تباعد||Contact Tracing||iOS||Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA)||in use||Exposure Notifications System||App Store|
|Singapore||TraceTogether||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Government Digital Services agency of Government Technology Agency of Singapore||in use||GNU GPLv3 compatible with open source OpenTrace / BlueTrace framework||BlueTrace||https://www.tracetogether.gov.sg/||2 million (4 Jan 2021)[note 1]|||
|South Korea||Corona 100m||contact tracing||Android (no longer available)||Bae Won-Seok / TINA3D|||
|Self-Diagnosis app||self-diagnostic||Android, iOS||Ministry of Health and Welfare||ncov
|Self-Quarantine app||isolation registration||Android, iOS||Ministry of the Interior and Safety||www
|South Africa||COVID Alert South Africa||Contact tracing, Exposure Notifications||Android, iOS, AppGallary||Department Of Health||In Use Nation Wide||Exposure Notifications System||Homepage Google Play App Store App Gallary||Android - 1,000,000+ AppGallary 250,000+|||
|Spain||Radar COVID||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Indra Sistemas||Available in Play Store and App Store||MPL-2.0||Exposure Notifications System||Apple Store, Google Play|||
|Sri Lanka||Self Shield (Formerly COVID Shield)||Self-Health Checking and monitoring, AI driven breathing performance assessment, Quarantine Monitoring and Support, reporting test state, demographic mapping||Android||Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health||Available in Play Store||Proprietary||https://sshield.org|||
|Switzerland||SwissCovid||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Ubique, EPFL, ETH Zurich||in use||MPL 2.0||Exposure Notifications System||https://github.com/DP-3T/dp3t-app-android-ch|||
|United Kingdom||NHS COVID-19||multipurpose||Android, iOS||Pivotal Software for NHSX||In use; released on September 24 for users in England and Wales.||MIT License||Exposure Notifications System||covid19.nhs.uk||10 million+ |||
|Protect Scotland||contact tracing||Android, iOS||NearForm for NHS Scotland Test and Protect||In use; released on September 10 for users in Scotland.||Apache License 2.0||Exposure Notifications System||protect.scot||1,080,699 (September 20)|||
|StopCOVID NI||multipurpose||Android, iOS||NearForm||In use; released on July 30 for users in N. Ireland.||MIT License||Exposure Notifications System||nidirect.gov.uk||250,000 (August 14)|||
|COVID Symptom Study, formerly Covid Symptom Tracker||self-diagnostic||Android, iOS||King's College London, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals, Zoe Global Limited||https://covid.joinzoe.com/||May 4, 3 million|||
|United States||COVID-19 Screening Tool||self-diagnostic||Web||Apple Inc. / U.S. Federal Government|||
|CovidSafe||self-diagnostic, contact tracing||Android, iOS||Microsoft volunteers, University of Washington||MIT License||PACT||https://covidsafe.cs.washington.edu/|||
|Covid Watch||exposure alerts / anonymous contact tracing||Android, iOS||Covid Watch||piloting||Apache 2.0||Exposure Notifications System||https://www.covidwatch.org/|||
|How We Feel||self-diagnostic||Android, iOS||Pinterest and others|||
|NOVID||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Expii, CMU||TCN||https://www.novid.org/|||
|Preworkscreen||Employee pre-shift screening, reporting, and documenting||Android, iOS, Web||Preworkscreen||Released on App Store and Play Store||Proprietary||https://preworkscreen.com/|
|Private Kit: Safe Paths||contact tracing||Android, iOS||MIT||MIT License||safepaths.mit.edu|||
|PathCheck||contact tracing||Android, iOS||MIT||MIT License||pathcheck.org|||
|TeamSense||Covid screening app for employees. Pre-shift symptom screening, reporting and compliance dashboard||Web||TeamSense||In Use||Proprietary||https://www.teamsense.com|
|ProjectCovid||self diagnostic, information, HIPAA Compliant||Android, iOS||LFR International||Released|||||
|QuikLAB™||medical reporting, test tracking, HIPAA compliant, lab patient log-in and reporting.||Android, iOS, web||https://tptmedtech.com/||in-use||Proprietary|||||
|QuikPASS™||COVID-19 check and verify passport, HIPAA compliant||Android, iOS, web||https://tptmedtech.com/||in-use||Proprietary|||||
|Vietnam||NCOVI||medical reporting||Android, iOS||VNPT, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Communications||Proprietary||ncovi
|Bluezone||contact tracing||Android, iOS||Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Communications||Available on Play Store||GNU License[clarification needed]||bluezone
|global||World Health Organization COVID-19 App||information||Android, iOS||World Health Organization||under development||MIT Licence||WorldHealthOrganization/app|||
|global||Coalition App||contact tracing||Android, iOS, third party hardware||Coalition Network||Live||GPL 3||Whisper Tracing Protocol||https://www.coalitionnetwork.org/|||
- Excludes users who use both the physical token and the app, or the physical token exclusively.
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- Tracking Apps are Unlikely to Help Stop COVID-19 ACLU, 6 August 2020
- Sherr, Ian. "Apple, Google, Amazon block nonofficial coronavirus apps from app stores". CNET. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
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Apple and Google released a joint specification describing their system support for a privacy-preserving exposure notification system on iOS and Android. Their proposal is very similar to our early proposal "Low-cost decentralized proximity tracing".
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Sources cited: DP^3T Documents and TCN Protocol Github.
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