Use the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications system on your Android phone
To find out if you have had close contacts with people who test positive for COVID-19, you can activate the Exposure Notifications feature. If you change your mind, you can turn it off.
To use this system, you need to download the app of the competent public health authority.
- If you have COVID-19, you can share this information with the app to allow you to notify people you have had contact with.
- If you have had close contacts with a person who has reported being positive for COVID-19, the app will notify you and give you further instructions.
What do you need to get started
- Download an app from your country’s government public health authority. To find out if there is an app available, contact the government.
- Activate the phone’s Bluetooth. Find out how to turn on Bluetooth.
- Enable the phone’s Geolocation setting. Find out how to activate geolocation. The system uses your location to search for Bluetooth signals, but does not collect it or monitor it.
How exposure notifications work
If you activate Exposure Notifications within an app of the governmental public health authority of your country, the phone shares random IDs with other nearby phones that have the Exposure Notifications system active.
Over the course of the day, your phone and phones in the environment you are in exchange random IDs. When your phone detects a random ID from another device, it registers it and stores it.
If a person tests positive for COVID-19 and their ID is stored on your phone, the app tells you how to proceed.
How the app can determine the exposure
The government public health authority determines the factors that could indicate exposure.
If the app detects that you have had contact with a person who reported being positive for COVID-19, the system shares with the app:
- The day the contact took place.
- The duration of the contact.
- The Bluetooth signal strength of the contact.
The public health authority app is not authorized to use your phone’s location.
The Exposure Notifications system itself does not use your location and does not share other users’ identities with the app, Google or Apple.
If you have COVID-19
- In the public health authority app, you can report that you have COVID-19.
- The app may ask you to share your random IDs. In this way the public health authority can warn other people.
- The app could then check if your random IDs are stored on other people’s devices. It may notify other people who have made contact with you. These people won’t know your identity.
How the Exposure Notifications system protects your privacy
You decide if and when to share your data.
- All associations for Exposure Notifications take place on your device, which means that only you and the app know if you have COVID-19 or if you have had close contacts with people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Your identity is never shared with other users, with Apple or with Google.
- When you download a public health authority app, you can activate the use of Exposure Notifications.
- If you have COVID-19, you can decide to share your phone’s random IDs with the app.
- To avoid tracking, your phone’s random ID changes every 10-20 minutes.
- The phone only stores random IDs from the past 14 days.
- The public health authority app is not authorized to use your phone’s location or monitor your location in the background.
- The system can only be used by official apps from public health authorities.