1. What is COVTRACER?
  2. Who developed the COVTRACER? 
  3. Why should I use the COVTRACER App? 
  4. How will my data be protected?
  5. What kind of data are collected on my phone?
  6. Will someone make money off my data? 
  7. What kind of permissions are you asking? 
  8. If I get infected by COVID19, do I have to share my data?  
  9. How can I have a look on my location information? How can I export my data?
    • In what form my data will be sent? 
    • What is a json file and how can I open it? 
  10. I am unable to install the application. 
  1. What is COVTRACER? 

COVTRACER is a mobile app for location tracking. It aims to contribute to the reduction of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our country. It creates a location timestamped log. If a user gets infected, he/she can choose to share this log file with the public health officials , who will be able to identify the places a carrier has visited and in turn, locate other citizens who have been in close proximity to the diagnosed carrier, thus acting to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

  1. Who developed the COVTRACER? 

COVTRACER was developed by a team of researchers and experts at RISE.  

RISE is the Research Centre of Excellence in Research and Innovation in Cyprus focusing on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies aiming to empower knowledge and technology transfer in the region. It is a joint venture between the three public universities of Cyprus – University of Cyprus, Cyprus University of Technology, and, Open University of Cyprus- , the Municipality of Nicosia, and two renowned international partners, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Germany, and, the University College London, United Kingdom. 

The software is based on the Safepaths  project developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (ΜΙΤ). 

More information about the team that developed COVTRACER can be found here

More information about RISE can be found here

  1. Why should I use the COVTRACER App?  

COVTRACER allows you to store privately on your device your location data. If you become infected, you can opt to share your location information with the epidemiologists to help protect our community and to allow public health officials to make the most informed decisions. You also provide health officials with more accurate information than you might be able to otherwise remember about your recent travels in the community. 

  1. How will my data be protected? 

The application is designed so that your data cannot be accessed outside your device and you alone may choose when to export the data and to whom to supply them to. As such, your data never leaves your device without your consent. 

All data are stored exclusively on the user’s device and are not transmitted to any other device or platform and no third party can access and / or process the user’s personal data in any way without their consent. Only the user can choose when and how to export the data and to whom it will supply it. 

A detailed Privacy Policy of the app can be found here

  1. What kind of data are collected on my phone? 

The app is a location log providing time-stamped records of your path within a specified period. The trail generator updates every five minutes and all data are stored only on your phone. You may switch on and off the app’s logging by selecting the Start/Stop Logging option in the app. Location is determined by GPS.  

  1. Will someone make money off my data? 

No. This is a not for profit initiative. 

  1. What kind of permissions are you asking? 

After installing, the app will ask for permission to access your phone’s location and memory.  

You can find which apps use your phone’s location: 

  • Open your phone’s Settings app. 
    • Tap Location and then App permission. If you don’t see “Location,” tap Security & location and then Location. 
    • If you have a work profile, tap Advanced and then Location. 
  • Under ”Allowed all the time” and “Allowed only while in use,” view the apps that can use your phone’s location. 
  • To change the app’s permissions, tap it, then choose the location access for the app. 
  1. If I get infected by COVID19, do I have to share my data?  

No. Sharing the location data of your phone is VOLUNTARY and completely up to you. However, the location data can help you remember where you have been for the past 2 weeks. Sharing the location information with the epidemiologists, will help them trace back the locations you have visited and find places where intervention may be needed. It also helps the epidemiologists trace people that might have been infected.  If you wish, the geo-locations of your movements could become anonymous and public on the database of CovTracer. Information about the patient’s home and any possible identification traces are removed. 

  1. How can I have a look on my location information? How can I export my data? 
  • In what form my data will be sent? 
  • What is a json file and how can I open it? 

You can easily export your location data from the main page of the app, by selecting “export” and then share. By pressing the share button, you will be able to use any of the available communication apps on your phone.  

Location is shared as a simple list of times and coordinates, with no other identifying information. A JSON file will be sent to the person YOU want to share your data with. JSON is text, written with JavaScript object notation. It can be opened with any text editor (e.g. TextPad on Windows).  

  1. I am unable to install the application. 

You can easily download the app from Google Play here or Apple App Store here.

If you still face difficulties installing the app you can contact us.  

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