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MySJ Trace : Frequently Asked Questions + Answers!

The new MySJ Trace feature has raised many questions, and here are the answers to your frequently asked questions!

 

MySJ Trace : Answers To Your Frequently Asked Questions!

Ever since the MySejahtera team launched the MySJ Trace feature, many questions were raised by people over its security, privacy, and usability.

So with help from Dr. Mahesh Appannan, the Head of Data at the CPRC (Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre) of the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM), here are the answers to some of your frequently asked questions about MySJ Trace!

These answers supplement the original frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the MySJ Trace feature, which you can read in the next section.

Question #1 : Why Does MySJ Lists Interactions Even At Home?

The interactions refers to Bluetooth devices (with MySJ Trace enabled) that your MySejahtera app detected.

MySJ Trace can detect Bluetooth signals from as far as 10 metres away, but can be reduced by barriers (walls, your body, other electronics, etc.)

It will not only detect the smartphones of your family members (with MySJ Trace enabled), but also your neighbours, who can be in the floor above, below, or next to your home.

There is nothing to worry about these “interactions”. It just means you came within 10 metres of people who have MySJ Trace enabled.

Question #2 : Does Interactions Mean Casual / Close Contacts?

No, not all interactions are flagged as casual / close contacts, if you become COVID-19 positive.

The algorithm takes into account the signal strength (RSSI – Received Signal Strength Indicator) that your phone detects, and your exposure time.

The parameters used to classify casual or close contacts are refined over time for maximum accuracy. For example, if the Omicron variant becomes widespread, the exposure time will be shortened, and the distance extended, for someone to be considered a casual / close contact.

Question #3 : Why Do People In The Same Family Have Different Number Of Interactions?

Even if your family goes out together, you may all have different number of interactions, because it depends on a variety of facts :

Question #4 : Does MySJ Trace Transmit My Data With Each Interaction?

No. There is no handshake or exchange of information with each interaction.

MySJ Trace detects the Bluetooth signal of other phones, and logs when that “interaction” occurred, and the signal strength.

It’s like listening to the radio – the broadcaster does not receive anything in return.

Question #5 : Does MySJ Trace Transmit My Data?

No. MySJ Trace stores all of the recorded data in your phone, and does not automatically upload it.

Only if you are COVID-19 positive, are you asked to upload your contact history for the last 14 days, so that people who were your close contact can be notified.

MySJ Trace requires your explicit consent to transmit your data to the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM).

Question #6 : How Long Does MySJ Trace Store Data?

MySJ Trace only stores data for the last 14 days, on a First-In, First-Out basis.

All data older than the most recent 14 days are automatically purged.

Question #7 : Why Do You Still Need To Check In Using QR Code?

First – not everyone is using MySJ Trace, so there still needs to be an alternative contact tracing method.

The QR code check-in function also gives KKM data to undertake faster contact tracing, especially involving a major cluster.

Question #8 : What’s The Difference Between MySJ Trace And QR Code Check-In?

MySJ Trace allows for automatic contact tracing, while QR code check-in gives KKM critical data. In addition :

Question #9 : Does MySJ Trace Use A Lot Of Battery Power?

MySJ Trace uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which consumes significantly lower power than standard Bluetooth wireless communications. The impact on battery life is minimal.

Question #10 : Why Does MySJ Trace Not Use Exposure Notification By Google / Apple?

By Google and Apple standards, an Exposure Notification (EN) app must maintain user anonymity, and record proximity data anonymously. It cannot contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

The MySejahtera app necessarily contains your identity, vaccination status and certificates, and so on. Therefore, it cannot comply with Google and Apple’s requirements for an Exposure Notification app.

 

MySJ Trace : Official Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the official answers to the MySJ Trace frequently-asked questions (FAQ):

1. What is MySJ Trace?

MySJ Trace is a contact tracing application developed by the Government of Malaysia.

It adopts a community-driven approach where participating devices exchange proximity information whenever an app detects another device with MySJ Trace app installed.

This application allows the identification of people who were in close proximity to COVID-19 infected individual

2. What is the difference between MySJ Trace and MySejahtera?

MySejahtera & MySJ Trace are used by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to help manage the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia.

MySejahtera allows users to perform quick health-self assessment and for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to monitor users’ health condition and take immediate actions in providing treatments.

Meanwhile, MySJ Trace further complements MySejahtera by detecting and tracing the individuals who are in close contact with the COVID-19 positive patients.

Read more : Can The Government Use MySJ Trace To Track You 24/7?

3. Who developed MySJ Trace?

MySJ Trace was developed through a strategic cooperation between government agencies of Malaysia :

4. Who are the users of MySJ Trace?

All Malaysian citizens and residents of Malaysia.

5. Where can I download MySJ Trace?

Users only need to update the MySejahtera application to the latest version.

6. How does MySJ Trace function?

MySJ Trace enables participating devices to exchange proximity information whenever the app detects another device with the same app installed. Data collected will be stored and processed only by the MOH officers.

When a user is identified to be COVID-19 positive, the user will initiate a process to upload the data from the user’s smartphone to a secured database managed by the MOH.

7. What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is an identification process of individuals who may have come into close contact with an infected COVID-19 patient.

It enables the MOH to further trace and contact the individuals and organize a follow-up action.

8. If I have been identified as a close contact, how will I be contacted?

The user will receive an SMS, and a notification in the MySejahtera app.

9. What data are collected by MySJ Trace?

Only these data are collected :

10. Are my personal information that is stored in the app safe?

MySejahtera and MySJ Trace are owned and operated entirely by the Malaysian government. The government guarantees that all information collected and used in the app comply with the information security standards of the government of Malaysia.

11. Does MySJ Trace require Internet connectivity after activation?

Yes, Internet connectivity is required when you first update the MySejahtera app, and during the data uploading process.

12. What devices support MySJ Trace?

MySJ Trace is supported by smartphones that use the Android or iOS operating systems :

13. Must Bluetooth be activated at all times?

Yes, Bluetooth must be activated at all times for MySJ Trace to work properly.

14. Will Bluetooth usage cause high battery usage?

Unlike using Bluetooth to stream music or to a wireless headphone continuously, MySJ Trace uses Bluetooth to only transmit its presence periodically. As such, it uses significantly less power.

15. Will the app use significant battery power if MySJ Trace is left running all the time?

MySJ Trace uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to minimise battery usage. Therefore, the app does not use significant amounts of battery power to collect persistent contact tracing information.

16. Will MySJ Trace Bluetooth usage affect my other Bluetooth accessories?

MySJ Trace does not affect the use or performance of other Bluetooth accessories like wireless speakers, wireless earphones or headphones, or smartwatches.

17. Why must I allow location permission for the Android version?

Android requires location permission to be granted for any app to access Bluetooth features. However, geolocation data will not be collected.

For iOS, only the Bluetooth function needs to be enabled.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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