GoAware Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Find answers to your GoAware questions here.

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is an intervention method used to effectively control infectious disease outbreaks all over the world. Those in close contact with infected persons are at higher risk of infection themselves and may potentially infect others. Traditionally performed by Public Health authorities via an interview process with an infected patient, detailed information is collected from the patient to assist in identifying people who may be exposed to the disease. It often relies upon the patient’s memory, augmented by information such as credit card transaction data.

How does GoAware support contact tracing?

The GoAware solution consists of a user mobile phone app, and a central secure management portal.

The GoAware app supports contact tracing by automatically collecting anonymous data logs of others using the app in close proximity to the user – storing this information until it is required as part of a contact tracing exercise. Upon request by an authorized contact tracing authority, the user can upload the set of anonymous contact records, which are then securely decoded into a list of contact mobile phone numbers.

How does GoAware work?

When workers with the GoAware app come into close contact with one another, the apps detect each other and securely communicate using the mobile phone’s Bluetooth interface. The apps then exchange a Secure Tracing Identifier (STI), which is an anonymous code assigned to the app by GoAware, that can be used to trace the contact, but cannot be used by either app to identify the contacted individual. The exchanged STI will be stored locally on each user’s smartphone.

As part of an authorized trace of a user’s contacts, the organization will request the user to upload the list of STI records stored locally on his or her device to the secure management portal. Using a set of encryption keys, the portal decodes the STI’s into the mobile phone numbers of the individuals. This information can then be used by the organization to react faster and reach out to possibly infected workers that were in close proximity to the infected user.

The GoAware app also provides users with proactive social distancing reminders to help ensure space is maintained at the workplace.

What is a Secure Tracing Identifier?

A Secure Tracing Identifier (STI) is a random number assigned to every user’s app by GoAware. They are exchanged by the GoAware apps as part of a contact event. Only the system administrator is allowed to decrypt and decode an STI into a user’s phone number. When users exchange STI’s via the app they do so anonymously. As an added layer of security, the STI’s are also changed every four hours so the users anonymity is further protected.

How does Bluetooth determine close proximity?

GoAware uses the smartphone’s Bluetooth BLE technology – a wireless communication standard used for exchanging data over short distances – to broadcast its presence anonymously. When the app detects another device with the GoAware app, a Secure Tracing Identifier (STI) is exchanged between the devices and stored locally on each device.

Who can use the GoAware app?

Currently, GoAware clients will be able to onboard their workforce using supported Bluetooth-enabled smartphones running on Android or iOS.

Does GoAware require Internet connection after installation?

Internet connection is required when you first install the GoAware app. Subsequently, GoAware will periodically update your Secured Tracing Identifier to protect your privacy. Internet is required for this process.

In order to upload contact records or to restart an app that has stopped working internet connection is required.

Do I need to keep the Bluetooth on all the time?

Yes, Bluetooth needs to be turned at all times for GoAware to work correctly.

Will keeping the Bluetooth on all the time drain my phones battery quickly?

Unlike using Bluetooth to stream music to a wireless headphone continuously, the GoAware app only uses Bluetooth to transmit its presence periodically, which uses significantly less battery power. Therefore, you can rest assured that keeping the GoAware app running will not drain the battery significantly.

How will GoAware affect other Bluetooth accessories?

Using GoAware will not affect the usage or performance of other Bluetooth accessories, such as wireless speakers, wireless earpiece/headphones and smartwatches.

What happens when I uninstall GoAware?

Once GoAware is uninstalled, all records and Secure Tracing Identifier (STI) data will be deleted from the mobile phone.

Why do I need to enable location permission for Android devices?

Android devices require location services to be granted for the GoAware app to access Bluetooth features. However, GoAware doesn’t collect any location information in order to operate.

What personal information is stored?

There is no personal information stored, other than the users mobile phone number and Organization ID.

Are mobile phone numbers securely stored?

Yes. The database of mobile phone numbers is stored in a Canadian cloud server, and fully protected with end-to-end encryption and encrypted storage.

Is any personal information stored and exchanged with other users in the GoAware app?

No, the only contact information that is exchanged and stored is a randomly generated Secure Tracing Identifier (STI). Information required to decode an STI into a user mobile number is securely held and stored by the GoAware Organization Administrator.

Is a user’s set of contacts ever automatically uploaded?

No. A request for upload is received by a user from a trusted authority via a personal phone call or text message. The initiator of the request identifies themselves as a trusted authority with a verification code generated by GoAware that is confirmed by the user with their app. To upload their contact data, the user must agree with the request and initiate the contact upload with their GoAware app.

Is GoAware communication secure?

Yes. All communication between the GoAware server with GoAware apps, and between GoAware apps, is secure and encrypted using TLS 1.2 with 256 bit AES.

Does GoAware Work While Running in the Background?

The optimal performance for GoAware is achieved when the app is on and running in the foreground.  Aware360 recommends that when a user is in an environment where close contact with others is likely and cannot be avoided, the user keeps it in the foreground.  Special battery conservation features are built-in to conserve the battery in this situation. 

For iOS devices, the app will work in the background, but the performance may depend on what other apps are also currently running.

For Android devices, the Android operating system may terminate apps running in the background to manage battery usage. Android users should refresh the GoAware app periodically to avoid this issue.