SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — California on Monday unveiled a voluntary smartphone app that can alert people if they come in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
“It’s 100% private, 100% secure, 100% voluntary you opt in, and there’s no tracking data,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said during the announcement.
The CA Notify App will use Bluetooth, and beginning Thursday, Californians will be able to activate the app by downloading it from the Google Play store if on Android or by activating it in their iPhone settings.
“There’s certainly opportunities to take advantage of contact tracing,” said A.J. Nash, senior director of Cyber Intelligence Strategy of Anomali. “Some of the cons … this app does require you to have Bluetooth on it, which does open you up to some opportunities.”
Nash added that consumers need to be careful in making sure to download the official contract tracing app, referring to phishing scams and other fake app schemes overseas.
“Don’t accept an app someone emails you, or a link,” he explained.
In regards to concerns of personal security concerns, Nash said there is not much of a bigger risk in using the app, as most people have Bluetooth turned on all the time nowadays.
“In general, we would tell people not to walk around with their Bluetooth turned on all the time,” Nash said. “That being said, there are settings in most phones where you can set up security protocols to notify you if someone is trying to attach to Bluetooth and allow you to reject it.”