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Notes from a Jersey Covid App sceptic

Notes from a Jersey Covid App sceptic

Tuesday 13 October 2020

Notes from a Jersey Covid App sceptic


A local Twitter personality and self-confessed "Jersey Covid App sceptic" has shared her thoughts on the island's new contact tracing app ahead of its official release tomorrow.

Binky, aka @TheOnlyGuru, is known for not holding back on speaking her mind online to her 10,000-plus followers.

After a sneak preview of what she has dubbed the 'iVanApp' she stepped away from social media for a moment to tap out this honest review...

"I was surprised to be approached by Tony Moretta of Digital Jersey to ask if I wanted to beta test the new contact tracing app he and the team were creating on behalf of Government of Jersey.

I was as ever, stressed and apprehensive, thought I'd be losing my privacy, have 'Big Brother' spying on my every movement, you know, the standard 'Binky' reaction to everything. Panic first, ask questions later scenario.

How wrong was I?

The app email arrived a couple of weeks ago, I apprehensively followed instructions, downloaded and installed it.

Because I'm difficult I obviously took great exception to the tag line written in Jèrriais language, but I was prepared to overlook this, because I'm also fairly rational.

I input my mobile number, with some trepidation I'll admit, but nothing bad happened.

I spent the first few hours nervously checking it incessantly, but then a strange thing happened when I had to go out: I felt a reassurance that I'd previously not had. I realised that, should I come in to contact with somebody who had tested positive, the app would tell me, the contact tracing team would get in touch and I'd know to get tested and isolate. How good is that?

I can't explain in great detail how this magic app works, but I do know it is anonymised and has no access to anything bar your mobile phone number.

As I understand it, your anonymous Bluetooth ID communicates with other anonymous Bluetooth ID's, and compares your anonymised 'log in's' on this medium as you encounter other human beings in the course of usual business, in order to alert you to any potential danger.

What I found was that it's a friendly, safe, helpful little app.

The Jersey Covid Alert app is clear, concise, and in my case 'idiot proof'.

pjimage.jpg

Pictured: Screenshots from the app.

The graphics are easy to read, the instructions, simple, the data consistently reassuring - you can check the island's covid statistics 24/7.

Tomorrow (14 October) is the official app launch.

I would urge everyone to download the Jersey Covid Alert app, it will go a long way to helping build a picture of how we are doing as an island in our quest to control and hopefully rid our island home of covid-19 and keep us all safe.

The more people who download the app, the bigger the picture will be, and this will make the data more accurate too. It gives us an extra weapon in dealing with, and eventually eradicating this invisible virus.

So, that's it, download it, it works on both Android and iPhone, tell your families and friends, and rest assured it's wonderful and I've been pleasantly surprised by how much comfort it has brought me.

One last thing, I will still refer to the app as 'iVan App' because Dr Ivan Muscat has been inspirational and this app should be dedicated to him.

binky ivanapp

Pictured: Binky refers to the app by another name paying tribute to the man who has led Jersey's response to the pandemic.

I haven't in anyway changed my iOS settings and the app name to reflect my adulation of him, obviously...

;-)"

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