2020 in a nutshell, has been all about the COVID-19 Global Pandemic and the various ways of controlling the spread. As far as the state of wellness is concerned, people are in considerable trouble in pockets of regions where the wrath of the virus is considerably more potent than others. With the help of technology, the governments are bringing in tracking apps to tackle the hassles.
However, there has been a massive furor over this very fact since digital privacy is a thing that is under massive jeopardy if sufficient measures are not taken. Governments across the world are optimistic that they will take the help of these apps through rigorous and fine-tuned mobile apps development.
Nonetheless, the effort does pay the fruits with some vital information that can help the governments restrict the chain of infections which seemingly need very little help to spread across a given region. How these apps are going to be helpful, we will come to know in the next section.
What Exactly are Tracking Apps and How Helpful are those in a Global Pandemic
Now, from the get-go, the word tracking does send someone into a world of doubt. Nobody wants themselves to be watched by something or someone. Now, it is not even a question of whether someone can be tracked or not, it is about how much are they being tracked.
Before diving into the topic, there is a massive difference between Tracking and Tracing. Tracking is the process of meticulously checking and following the pathway of some object or individual from the start to the end. As an example, a fitness tracking app tracks the distance you have covered.
On the other hand, tracing is the extrapolation of a particular thing’s source from the current location details. A great example would be the Anti-Theft technologies present in electronics. Technically, these are two completely different avenues.
Now, shifting on to the Global pandemic, any app development venture joins hands with the government to develop the perfect tracking or tracing apps that would help them locate an infected person’s details and reduce the chance of others contracting the microbes from the former.
Having a tracing app generally means you will have to share these details with the governments:
- GPS Location (Latitude and Longitude)
- Bluetooth Connectivity (For nearby cases)
- Identity Details from the Phone (Optional) etc.
All of the options mentioned above are certainly worth a second look if someone is thinking of their digital privacy. Now, is it a safe thing to openly share everything with the authorities? There is no clear answer to this. Not everyone is going to be appreciative of this.
With an already massive number of leaks in information and multiple unethical hacking attempts, sharing such delicate pieces of information might lead to catastrophic scenarios. In such situations, the best thing the government could do is to make these apps Open Source.
Tracking or Tracing Apps, if made Open Source, would be of significant help to both the community as well the government themselves. In case, if any loophole if found out, it could be pointed out and convincingly referred to the authorities by the public themselves.
An open-source app makes mobile app development a thing of beauty. Community feedback is still the king, when it comes to micro-managing any public service option, be it offline or online.
Last month, the Government of India made India’s CoronaVirus Tracing App Aarogya Setu an Open Source app. Not only this got rid of any scrutiny that people had regarding their privacies people came forward and offered help to make the app great again.
Hopefully, these apps will be of exquisite use to everyone without jeopardizing anyone’s private details at the slightest as soon as possible. With the help of critical information from the infected, the authorities can significantly use it to restrict the movement of the crowd in and around a compromised neighborhood.