Contact Tracing Apps for COVID-19: Access Permission and User Adoption

by   Amal Awadalla Ali, et al.

Contact tracing apps are powerful software tools that can help control the spread of COVID-19. In this article, we evaluated 53 COVID-19 contact tracing apps found on the Google Play Store in terms of their usage, rating, access permission, and user privacy. For each app included in the study, we identified the country of origin, number of downloads, and access permissions to further understand the attributes and ratings of the apps. Our results show that contact tracing apps had low overall ratings and nearly 40 apps were requesting dangerous access permission including access to storage, media files, and camera permissions. We also found that user adoption rates were inversely correlated to access permission requirements. To the best of our knowledge, our article summarizes the most extensive collection of contact tracing apps for COVID-19. We recommend that future contact tracing apps should be more transparent in permission requirements and should provide justification for permissions requested to preserve the app users privacy.



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