HaMagen is an app that is endorsed by the Ministry of Health. It can tell you have been in the presence of anyone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus.
The app cross-checks the GPS history of your mobile phone with historical geographic data of patients from the Ministry of Health.
“The application is a technological means intended to give each and every one of us the ability to accurately and immediately know if we were in contact with a person who was infected with the coronavirus,” the statement said. “With this we can stop the spread of the disease and protect those closest to us.”
HaMagen is available in five languages: Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian and Amharic.
How does it work?
Download the app
The HaMagen app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play. After installation and initial set up, you can close the app.
The app will send you relevant updates. If you have crossed paths with a COVID-19 patient, it will also show you the exact time and location, and you will be able to review, and confirm or reject the notification.
In case of a match
If you confirm, you will be referred to the Ministry of Health website for information on what to do next, and you will be able to report the exposure to the Ministry.
If there’s no match
If the message in the notification is incorrect, you can reject it and carry on as normal.
Is the application secure?
The cross-referencing of your GPS history with the locations of COVID-19 patients happens on your phone; your GPS data does not leave your mobile phone, and is not sent to any third party.
The data from the Ministry of Health is sent to your mobile phone for cross-referencing, no data is sent back to the Ministry of Health.
The app was developed in Israel for the Ministry of Health on the basis of open source code and on values of communal responsibility. The open source code is meant on one hand to achieve transparency vis-à-vis the public, and on the other hand, to make it possible for programmers in Israel and around the world to help and support this effort.
Any person can suggest and design additional features. The app’s control system leaves the choice up to the user – the information stays with you, and you have sole discretion.
The ministry stressed that all the information on the user’s movements is only stored on the smartphone, which is kept updated by the ministry with the epidemiological data of known COVID-19 cases.