Exposure Notifications Info

  1. Use the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications System on your Android phone
    To help understand whether you've been exposed to someone who reports having COVID-19, you can turn on Exposure Notifications. If you change your mind, you can turn it off. To use the system, you need to download an official app from your region’s government public health authority. If you have COVID-19, you may share that info with your app to help alert the people you've been in contact with. If you've been exposed to someone who has shared they have COVID-19, your app will notify you and give you further instructions. Exposure Notifications System: Helping Health Authorities fight COVID-19 How your phone got the update Your Android phone regularly gets updates in the background. The Exposure Notifications System was introduced in an update to Google Play Services.  The system is turned off by default. This technology only works if you decide to opt-in. If you change your mind, you can turn it off at any time. Most Android phones get this update. Some Huawei phones may not get the update. What you need to get started Download an official app In the Play Store, you can download an official app from your region's public health authority. Some public health authorities build custom apps, and some customize a template app provided by Google. Apps that work with the Exposure Notifications System have a badge . Apps that do not have the badge do not use the Exposure Notifications System. To download an official app: Find available apps for your region. If an app is available, download it from the Play Store. The app tells you how to turn on exposure notifications. For help with your app, contact the app developer. Check or change phone settings Make sure your phone is running Android 6.0 or above. Learn how to check and update your Android version. Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth. Learn how to turn on Bluetooth. On Android 10 and earlier, turn on your phone's Location setting. Learn how to turn on Location. The system uses this to scan for Bluetooth signals but it does not collect or track your location. Learn why location needs to be on for the system to work. For phones running Android 11, your phone's Location setting does not need to be on.  How Exposure Notifications work Once you opt-in to the Exposure Notifications System, it will generate random IDs on your device. To help prevent tracking, your phone's random ID changes every 10-20 minutes. Your phone works in the background to share these random IDs via Bluetooth with the phones around you that also have Exposure Notifications on. When your phone detects a random ID from another device, it records and stores the ID on your device. If someone reports having COVID-19 and their ID is stored on your phone, your app will notify you of next steps to take. How the app may determine exposure Government public health authorities determine which factors might indicate exposure. If your app learns that you’ve come in contact with someone who reports themself as having COVID-19, the system may share information with the app, including: The day the contact happened. How long the contact lasted. The Bluetooth signal strength of that contact. Your public health authority app is not allowed to use your phone's location. The Exposure Notifications System itself does not use your location or share other users’ identities with the app, Google, or Apple. How the Exposure Notifications System protects your privacy You choose to use the system and share your data This system only works if you decide to use it. You control whether you receive exposure notifications, and you decide if and when to share your data. If you have COVID-19, you can choose to share your random IDs with your app. Neither Google, Apple, nor other users can see your identity All of the Exposure Notification matching happens on your device. This means only you and your app know if you report having COVID-19 or having been exposed to someone who has reported having COVID-19. Your identity is never shared with other users, Apple, or Google. Your location is not tracked The Exposure Notifications System does not collect or use the location from your device. It uses Bluetooth, which can be used to detect if two devices are near each other — without revealing where the devices are. Your public health authority app is also not allowed to use your phone’s location or track your location in the background. In Android 10 and earlier, learn why location needs to be on for Exposure Notifications to work. Only public health authorities can use this system Only official public health authority apps can use the system. Their apps must meet specific criteria around privacy, security, and data use. More you can do Turn off Exposure Notifications Exposure Notifications are off by default. If you opted in and changed your mind, you can turn it off in your Android phone’s Settings, or uninstall the public health app. Important: By turning off this feature, you won't be notified if you've been exposed to COVID-19. On your Android device, open the Settings app. Tap Google COVID-19 Exposure Notifications. Turn off Exposure Notifications. Learn how to uninstall apps. Delete your exposure history After you opt into the system, you can delete the random IDs stored on your device. They’re also automatically deleted after 14 days. You can’t delete your random IDs that may be stored on other people’s devices or that you shared with an app. Important: By deleting this data, you won't be notified if you've been exposed to COVID-19. On your Android device, open the Settings app. Tap Google COVID-19 Exposure Notifications. Tap Delete random IDs Delete.  Get help with your public health authority app To get help with your app, you can contact the app developer. If you were exposed to someone who reported having COVID-19 You may get a notification from your public health authority app that you were exposed to COVID-19. If you get a notification, your app will guide you on what to do next. If you have COVID-19 In your public health app, you may report yourself as having COVID-19. Your app may ask you to share your random IDs. This helps the public health authority to notify others. Your app may then check if your random IDs are stored on other people’s devices. It may alert others who came in contact with you. Those other people won't know your identity. Related articles Using technology to help public health authorities fight COVID‑19 Frequently asked questions Overview of COVID-19 Exposure Notification Bluetooth specifications Cryptography specifications
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  2. About the Exposure Notifications System and Android location settings
    On Android 10 and earlier, the Exposure Notifications System uses your phone’s Location setting and Bluetooth. There are several ways you can manage your privacy with this system.  On Android 11, the Exposure Notifications System does not require the phone's Location setting to be on. Learn how to check and update your Android version.  The Exposure Notifications System does not use your location data Apps that use the Exposure Notifications System are not permitted to request permission to use your device location. Why your phone’s location setting needs to be on The Exposure Notification technology uses Bluetooth scanning to understand what devices are near one another. On phones running Android 6.0 to 10, the Exposure Notifications System uses Bluetooth scanning. For Bluetooth scanning to work, the device location setting needs to be turned on for all apps, not just apps built with the Exposure Notifications System. Google and Apple have built in safeguards to ensure that government contact tracing apps built with ENS cannot infer your location. This is done through the rotation of random IDs assigned to your device, so that no one can track your individual device. The random IDs do not contain any information about your location when they exchange with other devices in the system. Control how your location data is used The Exposure Notifications System does not use device location. We've prevented public health authority apps using ENS from requesting access to your device's location. To control location access for individual apps: Open your phone's Settings app. Tap Location  App permissions. Adjust each individual app's permissions.  Important: When you turn on device location by itself, you will not change any of the app-level location permissions or controls.  Related resources   Manage your Android device's location settings. Choose which apps use your Android phone's location. Manage your Location History.
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  3. About the Exposure Notification API update
    In May, we launched the Exposure Notifications System alongside Apple to provide the technical foundation on which public health authorities around the globe can build apps for exposure notifications.This is just one component of the comprehensive campaigns public health authorities are undertaking worldwide to help curb the pandemic, including testing, traditional contact tracing, and containment. Our goal is to provide a technical foundation to assist public health authorities' apps to help combat COVID-19. We have spoken with dozens of countries and public health authorities over the past few months and have made improvements in the API based on their feedback to support public health authorities in managing this pandemic while continuing to preserve the privacy of our users. We recently updated the Exposure Notification API (v1.5), which includes the following updates: When an exposure is detected, public health authorities now have more flexibility in determining the level of risk. We have updated the device Bluetooth calibration values to improve the detection of nearby devices. We have made changes to support interoperability between countries, following the feedback we've received from governments that have successfully developed exposure notification apps and are looking at how to best scale their effectiveness across borders. Other updates include reliability improvements for apps when checking for possible exposures and developer debug tools to help countries create apps more efficiently. The updates also include Settings updates that further enhance clarity, transparency, and control. The Exposure Notifications Settings now includes a simple on/off toggle at the top of the page. Users will also see a weekly reminder that exposure notifications are turned on. These changes are in addition to the following controls and transparency features that were launched earlier: Exposure notifications are off by default. Users must download a public health authority app that works with the Exposure Notifications System and opt-in to receive exposure notifications. Users choose to share their diagnosis and random IDs with the app. Users can turn off the feature at any time from Settings. Users can view the exposure checks that the app has requested from Settings. Users can delete the random IDs that their device has been using from Settings. We're also providing additional transparency in how the Exposure Notifications System works by publishing relevant implementation code. We've also published a reference verification server to assist public health authorities to build a solution that works with exposure notifications. Public health authorities interested in using the API can submit their information to our Google Play App Review team.
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  4. Use an Exposure Notifications app based on a template
    To use the Exposure Notifications System, some public health authorities customize a template app provided by Google. With the template app, public health authorities can customize how an exposure is defined and some of the content within the app, such as the guidance provided after an exposure. If an Exposure Notifications app is available in your region, you can download it from the Play Store. Learn how to use the Exposure Notifications System on your phone. Share app usage & performance data with Google To help maintain and improve the template app, you can choose to share some limited, de-identified data about app performance and usage with Google. What information is shared with Google If usage and performance sharing is on, your device sends limited info to Google about the app's performance, such as data about errors, battery usage, and connection issues. This info helps us make sure the app works as intended. This data does not identify you, and is only used to maintain and improve the template app, in accordance with Google's Privacy Policy. Turn usage & performance on or off Important: If you turn off usage and performance, you can still use your app. To choose whether to send usage and performance data about the app to Google: Open your app. At the bottom right, tap Settings. Tap App usage & performance sharing. Turn the setting on or off. What happens if you travel If you travel between countries: The app stores the mobile country codes for the countries you've been to in the last 14 days. This can let the app check if you were exposed to people who use Exposure Notifications in those countries, depending on how your public health authority set up their app. If you report having COVID-19, you can choose to share if you traveled to other countries. This can help inform others you were near that they may have been exposed, depending on how your public health authority set up their app. The specific countries you traveled to will not be shared. Share analytics data with your health authority Your public health authority may ask you to share limited, non-identifying analytics data. The public health authority may use the data to calculate aggregate statistics, which can help improve its COVID-19 containment efforts. The analytics data is encrypted and cannot be read by Google, and is not linked to you or your phone. These analytics may include the number of exposures in your region and whether you tapped on the notification. The analytics are generated using privacy-preserving technologies and give public health authorities insight into aggregate statistics while protecting the privacy of individual users. The aggregate statistics can help public health authorities determine if their containment efforts are working and evaluate their risk parameters. Turn analytics sharing on or off A public health authority determines whether they want to ask for and collect these analytics. You can change your analytics setting for a public health authority. Open your Exposure Notifications app. At the bottom right, tap Settings. Tap Exposure Notifications analytics sharing. Turn the setting on or off. If this setting is not available in your template app, these analytics are not collected. Related articles Exposure Notifications: Using technology to help public health authorities fight COVID‑19 Use the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications System on your Android phone
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