A tracing app for the smartphone makes it possible to quickly locate where the cell phone or the user is at the moment. It is also possible to find out with which other users have been in the same place. Especially in times of the current corona pandemic, the tracing app is on everyone’s lips – because it could help to contain the further spread of the virus.
The Difference Between Tracing And Tracking
In the current corona pandemic, the tracing method is intended to make it possible to track which people have had contact with each other precisely. The terms tracing and monitoring are often used synonymously, but this is incorrect. When monitoring user data, tracking takes place in real-time, for example, with the help of GPS data. The tracing first assigns the data at different times.
The term tracking is used frequently, particularly in location services or online marketing. Live tracking is possible through the use of movement data. On the other hand, tracing can be equated with the term backtracking. The tracing method usually is used particularly frequently in logistics, for example, when various stages in the supply chain are called up.
The app, which is now being introduced, should use the tracing method instead of tracking. Potential contact persons can register via the app using Bluetooth . If a user is confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus, the contact persons will be informed that they may also be infected. Of course, the prerequisite for this must be that both people concerned have the app installed on their smartphones.
The tracing app is to use the so-called PEPP-PT technology within Europe. Various institutions are already working on the corresponding implementation, such as the RKI, in cooperation with the BSI. The technology is based on a contact measurement that runs over a Bluetooth connection.
What Does A Tracing App Mean For Users?
The most significant point of criticism is undoubtedly in data protection. However, the developers ensure that data protection is not jeopardized by using a PEPP-PT based tracing app. The stored tracing data is automatically deleted after 21 days. In addition, the information collected should only be stored on the appropriate devices without being stored on central servers.
Tracing apps provide valuable information in everyday life and can also help in times of crisis. In the current Corona crisis, however, the app can only help to be successful if as many people use it as possible. Experts assume that it will be necessary for between 60 and 80 percent of all citizens to use the app on their smartphones so that chains of infection can be correctly identified.
The Function Of The Tracing App
As already described, the tracing app is based on PEPP-PT technology. In the first step, user data is anonymized by constantly generating new device IDs at specific intervals. This ID represents the recognition for the respective smartphone for around 60 minutes. The ID is only saved if two smartphones are in the same place for longer than 15 minutes. No movement data or location information is collected. However, for the app to work, Bluetooth must be activated on the smartphone.