LA repurposes crime reporting app for contact tracing
The Citizen app, which was designed to allow users to see unverified reports of crime in their neighbourhoods, is partnering with Los Angeles County for its contact tracing app, SafePass, which uses Bluetooth and GPS to track interactions with other people. Citizen has been criticised in the past for inundating people with crime alerts and inspiring panic in times when crime rates are at a historic low, and public safety experts and lawmakers are concerned that the repurposed app could create similar problems in the pandemic. The app deletes location data and ID photos used for verification after 30 days; it only provides data to law enforcement if presented with a warrant or subpoena.
Writer: Alfred Ng