iPhone COVID exposure notification logs seem off
November 22, 2020 1:41 PM   Subscribe

The exposure checks seem to log about 5 times a day, and if I expand the log, I can see "new files" added, usually one or two. However, on just after midnight on Saturday morning, the log for that time has about 75 new files. What is this?

It's my understanding that these files are other phones that have notifications also turned on. When I am close to one of these phones, they exchange codes and that is the "file" that's created. If someone were to test positive, they can alert the app and then anyone who has that code logged on their phone from the last 14 days will get a notification of a positive exposure. So what's up with Friday night and 75 files? I was definitely asleep at my house then.

Also Friday, instead of doing 5 daily exposure checks, it did one almost every 5 minutes. I was home with just my family in our single family home all day Thursday and Friday.

Any ideas what's going on?
posted by LKWorking to Technology (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As I understand the detection scheme, it's trying to detect exposure to other individuals, and that's not dependent on time. Is it possible that someone in your household just installed something that uses the exposure notification checks? Or it's picking up signals through a wall and someone else was on the other side of that wall that also had notification logs.

Five logs a day sounds like it's not detecting anyone around you at all with exposure notification checks and that's just background logging.
posted by meowzilla at 2:37 PM on November 22

I believe the files you see under "Exposure Checks" are lists of IDs of phones that reported a positive test. These files are pushed to your phone by your local government. Your phone then checks each of these IDs against the list of phones it has come in contact with. The list of IDs of phones your phone has logged as being in contact with is not displayed anywhere.

For example my latest file has 1,012 keys and the data source is "US-CT" (my location). The "matched key count" is 0, so I didn't get an exposure notification.

Here's some more information from the German version of the app.
posted by steveminutillo at 4:29 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]

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