When Apple and Google teamed up to create the Exposure Notification API for managing COVID-19 exposures, it hinged on developers working with public health departments to create mobile apps to interact with the API. MotionMobs partnered with the Alabama Department of Public Health and the University of Alabama at Birmingham to develop a secure, anonymous contact tracing app integrating with Apple and Google’s API. The result is the app GuideSafe.
When activated, the app allows the user’s device to exchange randomized keys with other devices within a certain Bluetooth range. Those keys reset randomly throughout the day, are encrypted into a package at the end of the day, and are stored locally on the device for 14 days. When a user receives a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and reports it through the app, other users who have the key to decrypt the diagnosis report will be notified of their exposure.
To ensure user data privacy, the app does not allow access to location services to track devices via GPS, nor is there any way for users to reveal personally identifiable information within the app. As Alabama reopens the economy after stay at home orders expire, this app will help Alabama residents understand their exposure risks and highlight the need for early testing.