How does the exposure notification feature work in Safer Badgers? Why does it ask for location access?
To participate in exposure notification, you must:
Safer Badgers generates local notifications to keep the Bluetooth scanning system engaged while your phone is locked or while exposure notification is working in the background. Your iOS device may display a notification that says "Checking for exposures..." while exposure notifications are enabled:
Depending on your Android version and settings, enabling exposure notification may add an icon to your status bar to indicate it's running in the background.
Your device will tell you when Exposure Notification is running. On iPhone, an alert message is displayed periodically that says "Checking for Exposures" when the Exposure Notification functionality is enabled. On Android, the notification screen says "Privacy-preserving contact tracing is currently running."
Our system analytics tell us that Exposure Notifications are being reported anonymously to campus-based users of Safer Badgers.
Exposure Notification is triggered only by a contact that is considered a likely risk. Not every person you are near will be evaluated to determine exposure risk. Proximity is initially set as 2 continuous hours within 10 feet.
Safer Badgers' Exposure Notification feature is not a form of contact tracing. University Health Services (UHS) at UW-Madison provides contact tracing for all positive cases of those affiliated with UW-Madison.
Close contacts of confirmed cases will be notified by secure message in their MyUHS account. MyUHS will send an email or text alerting the person that there is a secure message in their MyUHS account. Individuals who have a COVID-19 infection are interviewed by public health personnel to find out the names of their recent contacts. Those contacts are then interviewed by the contact tracing personnel and given medical guidance.
We are not using any location information in Safer Badgers. It's not stored, nor is it sent off the device. iOS and Android require Safer Badgers to ask for location services permissions to use Bluetooth in exposure notifications.
Read the Safer Badgers Privacy Notice.
For more information on the COVID-19 measures on campus, please see COVID-19 Response.
For more information on Safer Badgers, please see Safer Badgers.
If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the UW-Madison COVID-19 Assistance Line at (608) 262-7777.