The application adopts an original approach to protect the privacy of its users.
Rabat – A scientific team from the National School of Applied Sciences (ENSA) at the Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech developed a mobile application called “Marocovid” that allows users to track their interactions with COVID-19 carriers.
Cybersecurity professor Anas Abou El Kalam and two Ph.D. students developed the app, which makes a list of potential coronavirus carriers while respecting their privacy.
“In order to circumscribe the spread of the novel coronavirus without breaching the private lives of citizens or using their identities, we propose a new application based on a different approach that can detect the people suspected of being infected with COVID-19, without having access to any of their personal data,” Abou El Kalam told the press.
The application allows citizens to monitor themselves and their contacts without the need to share personal data with any central database. However, for the application to work properly, citizens need to be aware of its importance and voluntarily use it to protect themselves, their families, their friends, and their colleagues, the professor added.
Thanks to the app’s approach to privacy, no institution or individual can access tracking information without consent, unlike other applications used worldwide. The method aims to boost trust among users and help yield more efficient results, Abou El Kalam continued.
According to the cybersecurity expert, users will have the ability to regularly check a list containing the number of people they made contact with and receive a notification when one of them tests positive for COVID-19.
The list would include the number of people who made “direct” and “indirect” contact with coronavirus carriers, according to pre-established criteria, in order to calculate the probability of the user’s infection and evaluate the necessity of performing COVID-19 tests.
“Through this suggested approach, we aspire to regain the trust of citizens, notably in terms of respecting their private life, in order to convince a [large number of people] to accept using the application,” Abou El Kalam said.