Maryland launched its notification system on November 10 and more than 1 million people have already signed up, said Charlie Gischlar, a spokesman for the state health department.
The state is one of several conducting massive campaigns to educate residents about their exposure notification service.The apps don’t collect data on users or their locations, and there is no way to link Covid diagnoses and alerts to names and identities on phones, Gischlar said.“The fact that they use Bluetooth to bounce signals off other phones close to you, as opposed to tracking your location, does make them less invasive, and people shouldn’t worry their location is being tracked — it isn’t,” said Steve Waters, founder of Contrace Public Health Corps, which provides guidance on Covid-19 contact tracing.The alert system is designed to complement traditional contact tracing, not work alone.The earlier, GPS-based notification system caused an outcry among privacy advocates and has created skepticism about contact tracing in general, Waters said.
For that reason, Waters said, some are also reluctant to use Covid exposure apps.
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