16.04.2020 Feature Article

Re: Philip Ashon writes: The Ghana COVID-19 ‘Symptom’ Tracker App – Flawed at launch

Re: Philip Ashon writes: The Ghana COVID-19 ‘Symptom’ Tracker App – Flawed at launch
LISTEN APR 16, 2020

I am commenting as a Co-developer and owner of three APPs thus; RescueMe app + Asigaame app + GITFIC app.

RescueMe & Asigaame app were jointly launched by the immediate past Deputy Minister for Communication; Hon. Vincent Odotei, the then Director-General of NITA, ASP Eklu, Senior Personnel from the Technology Department of the Ghana Police Service, NIIT, IPMC, Tech Consultants and a section of the Diplomatic Corps at the plush Golden Tulip Hotel some two years ago. This launched was hosted by a colleague of yours at the same Media House; Sixtus Ullo!

Now back to the actual's;

1. Why the need to rush the launch of the app? you writer queried!

Ans: The rush was due to ''URGENT NECESSITY'' in the face of this Global Pandemic. There is no time to waste in finding solutions including this very one to bring identified-infected-persons, Isolate and take them through a curing process. The concept is timely and a great sign of caring for the citizenry!

2. Who developed the App and where is the data being stored?

Ans: Does it matter who developed the app? What should matter to you MOST should be the essence of the app and its result-ability at this crucial time of life and death. Don't we have a National Data Center? including that of the Ministry's? Are you oblivious to this?

3. How secure is the APP?

Ans: The security of the app though matters depending on the targeted purpose;- in this case, does not matter at all not even for a second! There is a looming national crisis staring right in our faces and what you are thinking about now is SECURITY? Are you serious??? Is the Ministry of Communication as a State Entity not enough assurance in these uncertain and urgent times?

4. Terms and Conditions

Ans: Just as my response on the security bit; the issue of Terms and Conditions do not come to play. This entire project is coming from a trusted government entity thus; THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATION. The Minister and the Ministry is right within your reach and more so because you work for a media house, therefore, venting blindly to the public smacks a sign of ''something something something''. The Ministry is very accessible to you and any other Ghanaian. Terms and Conditions of any new development is not static. It is updated from time to time during implementation and in this case USAGE of the app. This is why the TERMS & CONDITIONS shouldn't be put to strict check at this vital point! ''Let's collect more data and determine infected persons and SAFE LIVES!'' and as a Media Practitioner with one of Ghana's finest Media Houses; you should know better.

But come to think of it? Have you had the guts and audacity to question Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any of the foreign apps you use and enjoy every blessed day? Have you questioned the developers of the Smartphones & devices you use and enjoy everyday? Do you know the extent of security vulnerability with these technologies? Do you know the spy contents and applications embedded in these foreign apps and Smart gadgets you use and enjoy? ... And even if you have asked; are you not still enjoying usage of these apps and Smart technologies knowing very well their spying, invasive and intrusion abilities?

Issues of the OPT is in order but as I explained above; this does not matter now because the entire concept of this Project is not to compete in any International technology fair or project for an award. It is to help identify infected persons to enable quick Isolation and treatment to SAFE LIVES! That should be the underlying ESSENCE & PURPOSE!

You are here complaining about DATA-OWNERSHIP, SECURITY etc... Is this not the reason why the questionnaires are not mandatory and compulsory in some instances? If all the filled were made mandatory and compulsory, how does a user who may not want to give in certain information's about him/herself still proceed to answer the relevant ones and submit same for processing and help accorded the user?

Charlie, I don't know you in person but stay put and don't jump in commenting on issues just because you are the head of production for Omni Media (Citifm & CitiTV) and you want to please your employers buy displaying your knowledge on the subject matter!

In my CONCLUSION; This app is a questionnaire and information gathering app and must be classified as such. This app is not in a competition with any Global Tech bidding and that your rant in this very article is uncalled for and misplaced.

Your article, just as the Sector Minister is noted for saying is; PURPOSELESS, VISION-LESS, DIRECTIONLESS, MEANINGLESSNESS and MISSION-LESS!!!


An Nkrmahist and a Proud Ghanaian!

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