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28 Oct 2020

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Use the COVID-19 exposure notifications system on your Android phone
Health

Use the COVID-19 exposure notifications system on your Android phone 

Use the COVID-19 exposure notifications system on your Android phone

You can be notified if you’ve been exposed to someone who reported having COVID-19 by turning on exposure notifications. If you change your mind, you can turn it off.
To use the system, you will need to download your public health authority’s app.

If you have COVID-19, you may share that info with the app to help alert people that you’ve been in contact with.

If you’ve been exposed to someone who has shared that they have COVID-19, the app will notify you and give you further instructions.

What you need to get started

Download an app from your region’s government public health authority. To find out if an app is available, check with your government.

Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth. Learn how to turn on Bluetooth.

Turn on your phone’s location setting. Learn how to turn on location. The system uses this to scan for Bluetooth signals. The system does not collect or track your location.

How exposure notifications work

When you turn on exposure notifications within an app from your region’s government public health authority, your phone shares random IDs with other nearby phones that also have turned on the exposure notifications system.
Throughout the day, your phone and the phones around you exchange random IDs. When your phone detects a random ID from another device, it records and stores the ID.
If someone reports having COVID-19 and their ID is stored on your phone, the app will notify you of the next steps to take.

How the app may determine exposure

The government public health authority determines which factors might indicate exposure.
If the app learns that you’ve come into contact with someone who reports themselves as having COVID-19, the system shares with the app:

The day that the contact happened.

How long the contact lasted.

The Bluetooth signal strength of that contact.

The 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.

If you have COVID-19

In the public health app, you may report yourself as having COVID-19.

The app may ask you to share your random IDs. This helps the public health authority to notify others.

The app may then check if your random IDs are stored on other people’s devices. It may alert others who came into contact with you. Those other people won’t know your identity.

How the exposure notification system protects your privacy

You decide if and when to share your data.

All of the exposure notification matching happens on your device, which means that only you and your app know if you report having COVID-19 or been exposed to someone who has reported having COVID-19. Your identity is never shared with other users, Apple or Google.

When you download a public health authority app, you can opt in to use exposure notifications.

If you have COVID-19, you can choose to share your random IDs with the app.

To help prevent tracking, your phone’s random ID changes every 10–20 minutes.

Your phone only stores random IDs from the last 14 days.

The public health authority app is not allowed to use your phone’s location or track your location in the background.

Only official public health authority apps can use the system.

Turn off exposure notifications

Delete your exposure history

If you were exposed to someone who reported having COVID-19

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