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Apps To Track Someone Without Them Knowing – Citizen is known for displaying unconfirmed crime alerts in neighborhoods. Now it wants to deal with the coronavirus.
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for News. He grew up in Brooklyn and previously worked on the social media and breaking news teams at the New York Daily News.
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Privacy advocates are concerned that Citizen’s exposure report indicates the exact address where a person was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Citizens
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Citizen, an app that allows you to view unconfirmed crime reports in your neighborhood, has often been used to make false claims. A doozy: A tiger that turned out to be a raccoon was reportedly loose in Manhattan. Now the company wants to help cities track cases of COVID-19.
Los Angeles County announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Citizen for its contact tracing app SafePass. The app, introduced in August, acts as a digital passport to log your symptoms and location. It uses Bluetooth and GPS to track your interactions with other people using the app.
If someone you were later in contact with tests positive for COVID-19 and tags themselves in the app, the app will notify you about the contact and provide details about when and where it occurred.
The officials, including Mayor Eric Garcetti and Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer, encouraged the region’s 10 million residents to download the app. But advocates have warned that SafePass’s location tracking features pose a privacy risk.
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“We must use every tool at our disposal to stop the spread of COVID-19 – from wearing masks to maintaining distance to avoiding large gatherings – and contact tracing is an absolutely essential part of our efforts to stop this virus “To track down and rescue lives,” Garcetti said in a statement.
Public safety experts and lawmakers have criticized Citizen for inciting panic in communities and accused the app of flooding people with crime alerts while overall crime rates are at historic lows. The company’s shift toward public health raises concerns that the practice could lead to a global pandemic.
“With an app that is designed to constantly show you dangerous situations to avoid, it’s not hard to imagine that they also have a public health perspective in addition to the unconfirmed crime reporting they do would add,” said Angel Diaz, Freedom and National Security Advisor at the Brennan Center for Justice.
Diaz said he first began investigating Citizen’s contact tracing app when the company was in discussions about partnering with New York City. He said he saw several red flags with the service, particularly in the way it displays exposures and how much location data it requires.
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The coronavirus pandemic has eroded privacy protections for many, as companies use surveillance software to monitor social distancing while data brokers use location data to monitor people’s movements.
Contact tracing apps come with their own privacy concerns because they essentially require people to share their whereabouts with an app at all times. The apps notify people based on their location history if they have been near someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Contact tracing is considered an effective tool in containing the spread of the infectious disease, but privacy concerns remain over the protection of data collected in apps.
In July, lawmakers pushed for a privacy law that would limit contact tracing data to health purposes only and prevent the data from being used by law enforcement or for-profit companies.
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Citizen CEO Andrew Frame said the company is committed to maintaining privacy in its contact tracing app, although there are some concerns about the data SafePass collects and how it is used.
“We created SafePass to slow the spread of the virus and give people the tools they need to protect themselves and their communities through collective action, including sharing information,” Frame said in an explanation.
In order for Citizen’s contact tracing to work, the app collects your device’s location data via both GPS and Bluetooth. You can turn off your GPS, but the company said the app won’t work without location data.
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“Although this information does not identify you, there are circumstances in which a user could identify you based on location,” the company said. “This may be the case, for example, if a user knows you personally and remembers meeting you at the location we indicated on the map.”
Other COVID-19 exposure tracking apps do not require location data to protect privacy. Google and Apple’s exposure notification tools don’t request GPS information and, for example, only use encrypted Bluetooth signals to mark distances.
The structure informs you that you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and that you should be tested and quarantined. But it doesn’t tell you where the exposure occurred.
Diaz says this is important for privacy and security because knowing where a potential exposure occurred is often enough to identify the affected person.
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“Being exposed near a restaurant or school results in harassment that could have been avoided,” Diaz said.
Citizen said it is valuable for people to know where exposure occurred, noting that it can help make better decisions for people who may be infected with COVID-19.
“If a potentially infected user, for example at a birthday party, sees that he/she may have been exposed at the party and remembers that he/she did not wear a mask or maintain social distance, he/she may decide to take other precautions, as if that was them,” said a Citizen spokesman. “Knowing where you may have been exposed can also give you the information you need to alert your friends and family who were at the birthday party and are not involved in contact tracing.”
The company said it deletes Bluetooth and GPS location data, as well as photos of your ID used for verification purposes, after 30 days.
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Citizen said in a statement that it can conduct surveys on COVID-19 symptoms on behalf of a state or city government agency and share the results, but cannot share data with law enforcement unless there is a warrant or subpoena.
“That gives them a lot of leeway in deciding what to leave to the government,” he said. As a parent, giving your child a phone for the first time can be scary. If you’re ready to give your child a phone but don’t want to let go of them quite yet, you should try installing a third-party tracking app. Third-party tracking apps are, as it sounds, applications that allow you to monitor activity on someone else’s phone. This means that even if your child turns off Find My iPhone or another tracking feature, you can still keep an eye on exactly where they are. Although this may sound intrusive, it is a good middle ground for parents if they want to keep an eye on their child’s phone activity. When it comes to your child’s new phone, also think about product protection. With an extended warranty plan, you don’t have to worry if the device is accidentally dropped or damaged in any way because you’re covered. Subscribe to Mulberry Unlimited to have almost all of your online purchases covered under the same product protection plan, so you can enjoy your favorite items for years to come. Which Third-Party Tracking App Should You Use? There are many third-party tracking apps on the market and it can be difficult to choose the one that is best for you and your family. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you. Read on for a guide to the best third-party tracking apps! XNSPY Topping our list is XNSPY. With your XNSPY login, you can monitor the cell phones you are interested in without notifying the tracked users. You can access the phone you want at any time to screen record, keep track of phone calls and text messages, and even set up alerts to be notified of specific callers. You can also read emails, browse photos, and lock the phone you want if you want (for example, if you don’t want your child to be able to access their phone when they should be studying or sleeping). Unlike some third-party tracking apps, the XNSPY app is not free. In fact, the company doesn’t even offer a free trial. The cheapest plan for iPhones starts at $12.50 per month
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