So, what’s this new term we are meant to take note of? … What is this ‘contact tracing’? The medics and professional bio-magicians are conversant with the word. It’s their jargon after all. It’s definitely used in specific conditions followed by specific actions to be taken with measurable outcomes. Contact Tracing, according to this Forbes contribution, is a practical public health technique for stopping infectious pathogens from spreading by identifying an index (first) infectious individual, and consequently all/most who may have come in contact with said index. By the way the piece was penned by Bruce Lee – no relation.
Now by face value, the term is surgical and has been so since the virologists and associated specialists started using it, this is fine. The weird curve is how it is being added to the new lexicon of the ‘roro’ social-engineering mantras i.e. “stay safe”, “social distancing”, “wear a mask”, “quarantine” ,“lockdown”, “flatten the curve”…”contact tracing”, all sounding like words meant to be uttered after a prayer. The point of linking Bruce Lee’s article -no relation- specifically as opposed to a generic (N)CDC definition of CT is that the writing is tinged with the same view as in many mainstream outlets, where the whole point is to advocate for the incorporation of untested CT methods into everyday technology like phones, tablets, laptops and IOT* devices such as watches, scanners and trackers.
As far back as April this year, sources such as CNET, The Verge and 9to5google had reported that Apple and Google would start releasing their own CT solutions with privacy as a priority meaning location data and identifiers are never revealed in the process. The whole idea is that these companies i.e. ‘the fruit and the word’ will build APIs (application programming interface) that allow agencies like the NCDC for example to build its own application for CT within the Nigerian population. Furthermore, the companies express that CT will have to be implemented at the OS level to ensure that “It is running constantly in a power-efficient manner”. You just have to love that bland corporate-speak.
Furthermore, the companies express that CT will have to be implemented at the OS level to ensure that “It is running constantly in a power-efficient manner”.
Due to the fact that the process will be implemented at the Operating System level of your device, this means you may not have to manually update anything, the new function will just be available for you to ‘opt-in’. No different from a multi-choice test question with only one choice. For Apple users, if your device is running iOS13.5 you can check this by going into settings->privacy->health, there may be the ‘ro’ toggle smiling at you. Android users with devices running android 6.0 and above can go through settings->Google (not ‘Accounts’), you should see the new service there. Turning these on in conjunction with a CT app basically means that active devices start broadcasting Bluetooth identifier info with each other, and if one receives this info from a device belonging to someone in close contact with another whose pre-filled health records indicates that they tested positive for the Zombie thing, all other devices with a contact history will get a ‘gentle’ notification saying “watch your back, you may turn soon, tap for more details”. Only half-joking, the reference message is actually “Someone near you has tested positive for CVIX, tap for more info”. Right.
As expected, the new implementations always come with the weepy-eyed promises of data protection, but after Facebook’s ordeal in the Cambridge Analytica drama, the power of the advertiser and data brokers makes such declarations look shaky. On the off-chance that you the reader want to reduce the amount of info leaving your device and you don’t mind another short read, feel free to check these simple guides from PCMag for Android devices and MacWorld for Apple devices.
Finally, with all that seems to be happening and not happening at the same freaking time, please remember to always take deep breaths and not just the automatic-shallow-existence-based breaths. If only for a single minute in the day, calmly inhale deeply through the nose…. exhale completely through the mouth. Simple.