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Frequently Asked Questions
HaMagen is an application made by the Ministry of Health that allows you to know whether or not you’ve come in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient. It is intended to help us eradicate COVID-19 together.
After installing the application, it compares the location data of verified COVID-19 patients with your location data via GPS and can identify proximity situations between phones on which it is installed, using Bluetooth technology.
According to this data comparison, an overlap (based on location or proximity between devices) between you and a verified COVID-19 patient can be detected. In this case, the application would alert you by SMS and guide you how to act accordingly.
HaMagen is available in five languages: Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian, and Amharic.
We have made a number of additions and improvements in the latest version of the application, aimed at detecting points of overlap more precisely and improving your user experience.
- Bluetooth enabled: If you've enabled Bluetooth services on your phone, this application can also detect points of proximity between cellular phone devices, so that should you come in contact with a verified COVID-19 patient on whose phone device this application was installed, we could cross-reference their data with your data.
- Share route: We've given the application users the option to assist in the process of epidemiological investigations, should they test positive to COVID-19.
This information will only be shared with your consent. First, a link will be sent to the user in which he or she will approve sharing this information. Only then information will be shared. Information will be collected by the application and by Bluetooth services (if enabled) and by a phone call with the nurse in charge of the investigation. This information will remain classified and only public location data indicating the potential site of infection for others will be published.
Furthermore, we've added an option to allow for a more continuous work by disabling "battery optimization" mode for this application, in cellular devices that support this option. We recommend that you approve the prompt to disable battery optimization when updating the application. You can check at any time if the battery optimization mode is really disabled, by clicking "Application Menu > Settings > Battery Optimization".
The application works in accordance with the Ministry of Health's directives, based on our current knowledge of the virus' infection capacities, and cross-references your location data with the location data of verified patients.
Furthermore, the application uses Bluetooth services (if you've enabled them) and receives proximity data from other cellular devices in your area on which the application was installed, using Bluetooth technology, and thus knows to alert of additional points of overlap.
Should you receive a notification pertaining to location overlap, indicating that you were next to a verified COVID-19 patient, but you were not really there at the time – you may press the button indicating that it's not true. If you were actually there – you need to self-isolate. This application cross-references your location data with the location data of verified COVID-19 patients only during the times when they were out in the public sphere and constituted a public health hazard – until their self-isolation or home hospitalization.
Should you receive a notification pertaining to proximity between your cell phone device and the device of a verified COVID-19 patient, but you were not really in proximity to any other person at the time – you do not need to self-isolate.
In any case where you've received a notification from HaMagen application and you already have symptoms of fever, coughing or other respiratory symptoms, you must refer to your primary care physician immediately.
Attention all healthcare practitioners: If you receive notifications over the course of your work, even if you've worked with proper protective gear and followed the rules – you may need to self-isolate. You should refer to a medical authority and to your supervisors before making any decisions.
The application collects information about the history of proximity data between your device and other devices via Bluetooth services and uses your location history – from the moment you've installed it or going back 14 days, should you allow it to add location data from your Google account. In this case it collects your location data for the last 14 days from Google only once. It subsequently cross-references your data with the data of verified COVID-19 patients who underwent an epidemiological investigation. Should it detect an overlap – it will notify you. That's the reason that this system does not provide real-time instructions, only retroactively.
It should be noted that we do not keep track of your personally identifable information on Google. This information is for your personal use only and is not forwarded to any other authority.
No. As is written in the application itself, if no overlap was found, it means that at present time no overlap was detected between the routes that you've made since installing this application, or in the last 14 days before installing this application if you've allowed your data to be received from Google, and the routes of verified COVID-19 patients.
If you experience symptoms such as fever, coughing or any other respiratory symptoms – you need to self-isolate and act in accordance with the Ministry of Health's directives.
Enable Bluetooth and GPS: In this new version of this application, we've added the option to detect points of overlap also by Bluetooth. This technology detects proximity between you and owners of other cell phone devices around you, on which this application was installed. In order to enable Bluetooth detection, you must enter your settings menu in your device and enable Bluetooth services regularly. Also, it is important to make sure that your GPS services are regularly enabled.
Disable Battery Optimization: In some cell phone devices there is a "battery optimization" mode that allows you to save battery power by turning off certain application in the background. You can enable and disable the battery optimization mode as you prefer (through the settings menu on your phone device), buy we recommend that you disable battery optimization mode for the HaMagen application in order to ensure that the application works constantly and better protects you.
Other than that, you don't need to do anything. This application works in the background all the time.
HaMagen is the official application of the Ministry of Health and it receives data directly from the Ministry of Health's verified patients' database.
The application will not send your data to anyone else unless you choose to do so of your own free will, by actively signing a clear and explicit declaration. This information and the use of this application are for you, first and foremost, to protect your health and the health of your family.
First of all, you must self-isolate in accordance with the guidelines detailed here >
Now, we will walk you through a procedure called "epidemiological investigation". During this procedure, should you allow it, we will collect your location data from the last 14 days, and your proximity data to other cell phone devices. Together we will locate all possible points of exposure. This information may be collected by the application and by Bluetooth services (if enabled) and by a phone call with the nurse in charge of the investigation.
We will only publish information pertaining to public of exposure where you were present, in order to protect the public's health. Your personal information will remain confidential.
This application is aimed at cross-referencing the information stored on your device with the information stored in the Ministry of Health's database. It does not substitute up-to-date directives from the Ministry of Health, or the lists of patients' points of exposure as published in the Ministry's website. This application should only be used as a an additionally auxiliary tool, as a supplement to all other precautions.
The application collects location data from the last two weeks, as well as the history of proximity data to other devices on which the application was installed. The data is collected by Bluetooth services and stored on your device only.
The data is not sent to any server or to any agency and is not used in any other way than what is stated in the application: Cross-referencing your location data with the routes of verified COVID-19 patients or your proximity data to the devices of verified COVID-19 patients on which this application was installed, in order to alert you of possible overlaps in space and time which may be indicative of possible infection.
The application does not keep any identifying information about you (name, identity number or phone number). This information and the use of this application are for you, first and foremost, to protect your health and the health of your family.
It has nothing to do with that. HaMagen is an application developed for the Ministry of Health. It does not keep track of COVID-19 patients but rather cross-references between your location data and the location data of verified COVID-19 patients or your proximity data to the cell phone devices of verified COVID-19 patients. This way, the application allows Israeli residents to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19.
This application was developed in accordance to the highest standards of the National Cyber Directorate and underwent security tests by top security expert from both the intelligence agencies and from the civilian sector. You can find additional information in the information security page.
Yes, we are working on additional features all the time and we invite interested programmers to make suggestion or to contribute to our code.
The code run on this application and on the servers is accessible and transparent. Anyone interested may check and see exactly what the application does, suggest additional interfaces, and test its security level. With HaMagen we protect both the public's health and privacy.
In addition to transparency, the use of open code allows people to identify bugs and glitches and suggest solutions. We are open for suggestions and waiting for you!
Sharing the code in an open code approach will also allow Israel to contribute to the global efforts to eradicate this pandemic.
It is important to distinguish between the development code and the information.
The code may be open, but the information of users who installed the application is only stored on their own personal devices and is completely secured.
As stated above, the application is based on the Ministry of Health's database of verified COVID-19 patients, that is accessible to general public in any case, and cross-references the user's personal route with this database. This cross-reference is a one-way process performed on the user's device and neither on a cloud server nor on the Ministry of Health's server. The user's route is collected and stored only on his or her own phone.
Both the servers and the application are secured according to the highest standards by top people in their field, the user's privacy level is among the highest levels among all other applications that require tracking authorization.
You should know that your data does not reach any server or cloud. Verified patients' data is received by epidemiological investigations and protected by the Ministry of Health's intranet, according to the highest standards.
Of course, anyone who knows anything about this field, knows that 100 percent security is impossible – but we are very close to this mark. The application underwent pen tests by many experts from the Israeli cyber community.
Should you receive a notification pertaining to location overlap, indicating that you were next to a verified COVID-19 patient, but you were not really there at the time – you may press the button indicating that it's not true.
This application cross-references your location data with the location data of verified COVID-19 patients only during the times when they were out in the public sphere and constituted a public health hazard – until their self-quarantine or home hospitalization.
Should you receive a notification pertaining to proximity between your cell phone device and the device of a verified COVID-19 patient, buy you were not really in proximity to any other person at the time – you do not need to self-isolate.
This is an automatic operating system notification, indicating that HaMagen App is running in the background – it detects the locations of contacts with confirmed COVID-19 patients thereby protecting you.
We are unable to manage the notification settings.