A new phone app created by the Louisiana Department of Health Louisiana called “COVID Defense” will allow those in Louisiana to be notified if they have possibly been exposed to the virus and hopefully help in the continued fight with COVID-19.
The voluntary app that keeps your privacy secure allows your phone to remember when it meets other devices, but it won’t identify you to anyone. If you have possibly been exposed to the virus, the app will notify you through a notification.
If you and another person have the app are near each other for an extended period of time, an encounter is registered on the app, but personal information is never exchanged.
Rachael Kramas of the Lousiana Department of Health said “privacy protection is taken incredibly seriously and really built into the bones of the app.’’ There is no login or account you have to make to use this app, and you don’t even use your name.
The app gives you a randomly generated code so you don’t even have to enter any information and your code changes every 14 days. The notification that you receive from the app does not give the user an exact time of exposure and rather a window of a couple of days to further protect privacy.
“COVID Defense represents a great opportunity for certainly everyone in Louisiana to get informed of potential exposures”, said Kramas, “but especially college students... we know folks are staying in dorms or living with families or going back and forth between both, and that represents a lot of potential exposure.”
In a post announcing the app, Governor Edwards said “The more people who use the COVID Defense app, the more people it protects” and encouraged everyone to download this “tool to protect themselves and those around them from COVID-19.”