BLE Contact Graph on BitsaboutMe

How a MyData Contact Meter app helps with Covid-19 prevention

Experts agree that Corona warning apps can make an important contribution to contact tracing and thus to contain the pandemic. However, when a warning app sounds the alarm, it may already be too late. For data protection reasons, however, users cannot view this information and thus not make further use of it.

The BitsaboutMe Contact Meter app helps you to make preventive adjustments to your own behavior by providing full transparency about the type and number of daily contacts. It also meets the highest data protection standards and shows that data protection and data usage is not a zero-sum game.

BitsaboutMe Contact Meter app
The heatmap shows areas with especially many encounters

The protection of privacy and the control over one’s own data is the basic principle of BitsaboutMe called “MyData”, which is now consistently applied to contact tracing. The collected data is stored decentrally and is only accessible to the user himself or herself. On a purely voluntary basis, it is also possible to make data available anonymously, e.g. to health authorities or for research purposes. This type of data has a high social benefit. Citizens can make a valuable contribution to the fight against the pandemic through targeted voluntary data donations.

The BitsaboutMe app is not a replacement for official Corona warning apps of health authorities. The reporting of infections and the warning about risk contacts are exclusively reserved for these apps.

Both apps use Bluetooth LE technology as well as the standard recently jointly defined by Google and Apple for contact tracing to exchange anonymous Bluetooth signals between mobile phones.

Transparency about our own contacts helps us to behave responsibly. For this purpose, BitsaboutMe displays the number of encounters compared to the average of all users. In this way, anyone who is regularly well above the average can adjust efficiently his or her behavior.

Graph of daily contacts compared to the user average

Furthermore, BitsaboutMe not only registers the signals of the official Corona warning apps. It also captures all Bluetooth signals emitted by mobile phones and other devices. The user receives both values displayed, independently of the start-up and acceptance of the official apps.

Stats of encounters helps with COVID-19 prevention
Contact rate in different situations spread over one day

However, we should not delude ourselves. Every contact measurement via Bluetooth is only a rough approximation of the actual risk of infection. Distance measurements are subject to an inaccuracy of several meters. Moreover, it is also not recognized whether the other person was separated e.g. by a plexiglas pane or someone sneezing in passing may not be registered at all.

The technology is certainly not a universal remedy but an important addition to traditional contact tracing and can also provide relevant information for responsible behavior.

Contact data is just another example of why digital self-determination is becoming increasingly important. Users must control their valuable personal information themselves. Thus, data protection and the usage of data can be optimized at the same time.

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