It will then alert you that you have been exposed to someone, somewhere who tested positive. It won’t tell you who or where because it doesn’t know. All it knows is that the codes match, and that the contact happened sometime in the previous 14 days (the codes are automatically deleted after this time).

Origin: 9 to 5 Mac – Comment: Apple really needs to spell out the contact tracing privacy features


Apple and Google need to explain the privacy protections in lay-person’s terms. Here’s my own attempt to do it.

You choose whether or not to participate

No personally identifiable data is used

No location data is captured or stored

No data goes to your government without your permission

If you are tested positive for COVID-19, you will be asked to give permission for your Bluetooth codes to be uploaded to a government server. These codes don’t identify you or any of the locations you have visited. The only thing that happens to them is other people’s phones can check these codes against the ones stored on their own phone.

No one will know who infected them

Only official government apps can access the data

Apple and Google can disable the system at any time

All of these claims are independently verifiable



For example, with Apple’s COVID-19 symptom checker, we were able to easily verify that no data ever left the phone. The only way Apple and Google could be lying about this is if every techie on the planet capable of checking the information were in on the conspiracy.

As techies, are you reassured by the contact tracing privacy safeguards? And do you think your non-techie friends will be when they are spelled out in this way?

Please take our poll, and share your thoughts in the comments.