Over 500,000 arm themselves against COVID-19 with ProteGO app

The Ministry of Digital Affairs reported that over 500,000 people were already using the ProteGO Safe app that notifies users about contact with the coronavirus.

Designed by the Digital Affairs Ministry, the app is free of charge and can be acquired voluntarily. The ministry asserts that it is also safe in terms of personal data protection.

The app works based on the Bluetooth wireless technology standard used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances. In order to use it, a smartphone user needs to turn on Bluetooth on his smartphone. The app then consequently monitors the surroundings in search of other devices using ProteGO Safe.

If such a device is found and the original user’s phone maintains contact with it for more than 15 minutes at a distance shorter than 2 metres, the original phone and also the other user’s device will memorise this encounter. The devices would keep information on this event for 14 days. Should a person with whom the original user had, even unknown contact fall sick during those 14 days… an employee of the Contact Centre would call them after they tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to the Digital Affairs Ministry, the employee will ask whether the infected person has the ProteGO Safe app. The question is required as the Control Centre’s employees do not know whether the person does, or does not, have the app. If the infected person confirms that he or she has the app, the employee will provide him with a unique PIN and instruct them where the number can be entered in the app.

If the infected user enters the number, all of the users whose devices had contact with the infected user over the last 14 days will be notified about the fact that they had contact with an infected individual. All of those who had contact with the infected user will receive guidelines on the next steps they should take.