Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the release of the state’s new COVID-19 tracing app on Monday.
The app, titled WA Notify, is an anonymous exposure notification tool that was jointly developed by Google and Apple as well as the University of Washington. According to Inslee, it works without collecting or revealing any location or personal data.
We know masks, distancing and limiting interactions slow COVID-19’s spread.
Today, we’re announcing a new tool – WA Notify.
It’s an anonymous exposure notification tool that alerts you if you spent time near another user who tests positive for COVID-19.https://t.co/nWfUhFdd4n
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) November 30, 2020
WA Notify uses Bluetooth to share anonymous, randomly generated codes with other app users nearby. It allows those who’ve tested positive for the virus to anonymously notify others who have been near them in the last 14 days. If you have been in contact with anyone who tested positive, you will also be notified.
“People are understandably concerned these days about being tracked and having their personal information compromised,” said Associate Professor Stefano Tessaro with the UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering in a press release. “However, the technology behind WA Notify has been vetted by security and privacy experts across the world, and it does not collect or store any information that personally identifies its users.”
The free app is available in 29 languages and can be downloaded on Apple phones as well as Androids through their app stores.