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China’s coronavirus application knows if someone is at risk of infection

February 13, 2020

The high level of surveillance carried out in China means finding out if you have been in contact with someone infected with coronavirus, a relatively simple task.

3 min read

This story originally appeared on PCMag

China’s coronavirus application knows if someone is at risk of infectionChina’s coronavirus application knows if someone is at risk of infection

With more than 1,000 deaths, it is understandable that people are very concerned about the coronavirus . In China, even strong measures are being used to stop the spread that now include an application that allows people there to verify their likelihood of becoming infected.

As, the application is called “Near Contact Detector” and is based on the high level of surveillance that the Chinese government carries out on its citizens. Once the application is downloaded and installed, the person enters their name and identification number. Then, the app verifies the individual's recent movements against confirmed and suspected cases of coronavirus infection .

If an individual has come into direct or close contact with an infected person , the application will know and advise you to stay at home and to contact the local health authorities . However, we would be very surprised if the application does not also inform the authorities on its own if the person decides not to do so.

Close contact classes include people who work together, passengers and crew traveling together in any form of public transportation, and any medical staff, including family members, who are at the highest risk of being in the same room that someone with coronavirus.

According to Carolyn Bigg, a technology lawyer at the Hong Kong-based DLA Piper law firm, “from a Chinese perspective, this is a really useful service for people. It's a really powerful tool that shows the power of the data that is use for good. ”

As for how the application came about, it was developed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation in conjunction with government departments and health and transportation authorities. Without having full access to all data from so many different departments, the application simply could not work properly and would not have any real use.

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