October 09, 2020

New York and New Jersey Launch Digital Contact Tracing Applications

New York and New Jersey recently announced that they have launched digital contact tracing applications created by software developer NearForm. The mobile applications are free and available for download to anyone that lives, works, or attends college in New York or New Jersey. The applications use the Exposure Notification System API developed by Google and Apple. The Exposure Notification System does not collect location data or personal data from users’ phones. Instead, Bluetooth Low Energy technology is used to detect a “close contact” or when another phone with the same application is within six feet for more than ten minutes. When a “close contact” is identified, the phones exchange secure, random codes. If one of the users later tests positive for COVID-19, a public health official can call the user as part of the contact tracing process and ask if they would be willing to notify their “close contacts” of the potential exposure. NearForm previously created digital contract tracing applications for seven other jurisdictions, including the States of Pennsylvania and Delaware, and the Countries of Ireland, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.