The Ministry of Digital Development of the Russian Federation developing monitoring application to combat COVID-19

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The Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation (the Russian Ministry of Digital Development) will launch an application to track contacts of patients with COVID-19

The head of the Department Maksut Shadaev confirmed that the Ministry of Digital Development is completing testing of a mobile application under the name “Stopcoronavirus. My contacts”. It will be used to track the social contacts of Russians to fight the coronavirus.

According to the app’s video presentation, the Phone will scan a person’s surroundings within a radius of up to ten meters. All contacts will be recorded anonymously on his device. If someone gets sick, the person who contacted them will receive a notification about the possible risk. A sick person will have to report their illness via the app. To do this, they will need to enter a special code. Presumably, it can be obtained only by passing a positive test for coronavirus. This is necessary in order to avoid false notifications.

It is reported that the information will be anonymous, the identity of the patient will not be disclosed. Data is automatically deleted after 14 days. According to the presentation, the app “cares not only about your health, but also about personal data, does not collect or give away any personal information.”

Mr. Shadaev said that the use of the app will be ” absolutely anonymous and safe.” “No registration required — just install and activate it. At the same time, installing the app, as well as informing about the fact of the disease— is a voluntary matter, but the more users install it, the wider the coverage will be,” he said.

The development was carried out by the Ministry of Digital Development in cooperation with the Moscow government, as well as “in partnership with Apple and Google”. The app should be available in the App Store and Google Play soon.

It’s worth noting that the app uses Bluetooth-based anonymous “coronavirus” monitoring technology, launched this year jointly by Apple and Google. Devices, iPhones or Android smartphones, will communicate with each other via the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) short-range protocol. Applications based on this technology are already working in many countries.

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