New Jersey and New York have both launched new COVID-19 contact tracing apps based on an Exposure Notification API developed by Apple and Google.
In a joint press release on the New York State website, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the release of the COVID Alert NY and COVID Alert NJ apps for iPhone and Android users.
The two apps are based on the privacy-respecting contact tracing API developed by Apple and Google. The apps will track users that come into contact with each other using Bluetooth, delivering a notification if one of the users later contracts the COVID-19 coronavirus.
COVID Alert NY and COVID Alert NJ are completely anonymous and do not track or collect any location data or personal data from your phone. The COVID Alert apps do not use GPS location data. The Exposure Notification System uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to detect when another phone with the same app is within six feet. Proximity is measured, but not geographic location. COVID Alert app users must explicitly choose to turn on exposure notifications – and can turn it off at any time.
In addition to launching their own state contact tracing apps, New Jersey and New York will join Pennsylvania and Delaware in creating a regional network that will enable the apps to work across state lines.
Currently, U.S. states Virginia, North Dakota, Arizona, Delaware, Nevada, Alabama, Wyoming, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania have launched apps that use Apple’s Exposure Notification API. Connecticut is expected to launch its app in the next few weeks.