FSU Joins Rollout of New Contact Tracing App That Focuses on Privacy and Safety

Date: September 23, 2020

Slow COVID NC Flyer

Fayetteville State University (FSU) is joining other colleges and universities in North Carolina to rollout the new North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) contact tracing application. Faculty, staff, and students at UNC System campuses like FSU are encouraged to participate in this voluntary program by downloading and activating the SlowCOVIDNC app.

SlowCOVIDNC, built on Apple and Google technology, was designed with user privacy and safety first in mind. The app never collects or processes any location or personally identifiable information. Additionally, it allows users to opt-out at multiple checkpoints. Individuals who test positive will not be identified.

SlowCOVIDNC anonymously notifies users who have been exposed to the novel coronavirus. To participate, users do not need to do anything more than download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and turn on notifications. The SlowCOVIDNC app is free.

Once users have opted into the notification system, the app randomly generates digital tokens, which change every 15-20 minutes. SlowCOVIDNC works in the background to exchange these privacy-preserving, randomly generated tokens using Bluetooth technology. The app catalogs each of these connections, scanning for tokens associated with positive COVID-19 cases. When a match is identified, users receive a private notification with further instructions on how to keep safe and halt the spread. The app uses minimal battery power and does not need to remain open for this process to work.

Because evidence suggests that COVID-19 spreads even before infected individuals show symptoms, health officials agree that contact tracing efforts need to be fast and efficient. This digital app will help increase speed and scale, expanding the reach and effectiveness of the state's contact tracing efforts.

The NCDHHS website offers more information about how the app protects privacy while empowering users to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. Learn more at: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/slowcovidnc

This video offers a more in-depth explanation of how the exposure notification app work. NC DHHS SlowCOVIDNC Training Demo:

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