Citizen Launches SafePass COVID Contact Tracing App

Citizen launches new SafePass feature to offer COVID testing, contact tracing, and symptom tracking all integrated into a single product.

Paulina Tucker
December 17, 2020

Citizen Launches SafePass - COVID Contact Tracing App

Citizen, public safety app, evolves with advanced technology to fight and contain the pandemic. SafePass offers testing, contact tracing, and symptom tracking all integrated into a single product.

In a recent press release on the Citizen blog, the company recently announced the launch of SafePass - COVID-19 contact tracing application:

"As this pandemic lingers, there remains a burning need for tools and products that can turn the tide. While COVID-19 fatigue has set in, and helplessness seems to be the current playbook, Citizen is launching a system to contain this biological nightmare. Lockdowns have largely ended, cases continue to rise, and there remains an urgent need for tools and technologies to help people return to their lives and jobs, safely.

We are expanding Citizen to include the world’s most sophisticated social contact-tracing system with integrated testing and symptom tracking. The key to containing this disease is a combination of identifying when and how it spreads. One of the most effective ways to do this is through a digital contact-tracing system that’s powered by integrated test results. When you opt in to the Citizen contact-tracing system, you will be notified if you come into contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19. If you receive a positive exposure notification, Citizen will provide you with a free at-home test. When someone takes an at-home test through Citizen and they test positive, that result is sent to the test taker and added to the contact tracer, so all the people that the test taker may have exposed over the previous 14 days get notified immediately, anonymously, and securely.

Testing leads to contact-tracing, which leads to testing and more contact-tracing. We call this the Testing-Tracing Flywheel. As it reaches critical mass, it will help us immensely in our fight to contain COVID-19.

In order for contact-tracing to work, it requires a critical mass of users. Citizen has over 27% of New York residents — and more than 5 million people in total around the country — using the product for public safety. It’s a natural evolution to expand the network into a technology-powered system for fighting COVID-19.

Alongside contact-tracing, we’re launching SafePass, a shareable COVID-19 health summary with information about your potential exposures via contact tracing, symptom-tracking, and test results, all fully integrated. We want to make sure anyone who has been exposed has access to immediate testing, so Citizen is paying for tests for anyone who receives a potential exposure notification through the app. Over time, we’ll add more features to help respond to this crisis, including tools to help you safely gather with your family and friends and reopen businesses.

When applying technology to contact tracing, privacy and data security is of the utmost importance. At Citizen, protecting people’s privacy is core to our beliefs and central to every product we build. This remains true for contact tracing. The data to power our contact-tracing system is encrypted and deleted after 30 days. We never share any personal information with the government. The only information ever shared is anonymized aggregate data to help identify COVID-19 hot spots.

At Citizen, we work tirelessly to keep our users safe. As we face a surge in virus cases and an uncertain road ahead, we have double-downed on our efforts to develop tools that help keep us healthy and return to normal over time. We believe SafePass along with digital contact-tracing and integrated testing can get us there and this suite of tools is our technology company’s contribution to the fight."

This press release was originally shared by Citizen on their blog.


About Citizen:

Citizen is a public safety app in the U.S., with a mission to make the world a safer place. Citizen provides 911 alerts so people can use their phones to keep themselves, and the people and places they love, safe. Citizen has notified people to evacuate burning buildings, deterred school buses from nearby terrorist attacks, and led to the rescue of kidnapped children and missing people. Citizen’s 911 alerts are accompanied by live stories, real-time updates, and user-generated content so 5M+ app users never have to wonder why there are helicopters overhead or fire engines flying by. Citizen is available for free download in the App Store and Google Play Store.

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Paulina Tucker

Paulina Tucker is a journalist focused on police and law enforcement news, technology, and training.