FAQ – Anwers to general questions about diAry

What is the diAry app?

It’s a personal aid to store local memory of your movements and adopt useful behaviours to contain the COVID-19 contagion.

Where does the name diAry come from?

The english word literally means diary, since it lets the user collect daily notes, but it’s actually the abbreviation of Digital Ariadne, the mythical princess of Crete that offered Theseus a thread to find the way out of the labyrinth after defeating the Minotaur. The traces that are collected by the app are an Ariadne’s thread to help leave the labyrith of the pandemic. 

How does diAry work?

It uses the smartphone’s localization services in a minimalistic and intelligent way. When it doesn’t notice any movements it doesn’t collect any data, and when we move, it saves an incrementing number of points the faster we move. This way it uses little battery and little memory. The data remains on the device.

Where is the data collected by diAry stored?

All the data collected by the application remain of the user’s device. The application doesn’t have a way to transmit automatically data to the web. The user detains the property and the full control of the data. The data can also be extracted in the CSV text format, to elaborate them personally or to save them and use them externally to the application.

Does the diAry app safeguard my privacy?

It’s developed exactly with this in mind. First of all, it doesn’t ask for any personal information, not even your name, and it doesn’t access any information that’s already on the phone. It also keeps all data stored on the phone, leaving them totally at your disposal, without needing to broadcast them on the net. Finally, each day, it calculates usage statistics, only after aggregating the data and approximated it so that it can’t be traced back to you. Do know more about it read the answers to “Where is the data collected by diAry stored?” And “If I decide to share the daily statistics of diAry, who safeguards my privacy?“.

Tu understand how Digital Arianna works think of the mythical Ariadne that offers to Theseus the solution to leave the labyrinth. Theseus objects “And my privacy?” and Ariadne answers “My beloved, I’m leaving the thread with you. You will decide to unwind the ball of thread holding one end to find your own trace when you have to leave the labyrinth.

What do the points attributed every day by diAry represent?

The score is the way to make you aware of the value of your personal contribution towards the containment of the virus. The contribution consists in keeping the app active and staying at home as much as possible. This is why points are attributed for every hour that the app is kept alive and for every hour passed at home after the 12th.

What statistics does diAry calculate every day?

The application calculates the following statistics every day: number of hours that the app is active, percentage of time spend in home, number of personal annotations. The data doesn’t contain punctual information, but is needed to statistically evaluate the usage of the app.

If I decide to share the daily statistics of diAry, who safeguards my privacy?

The statistics that you can decide to share or not aren’t the tracks of your movements, but only aggregated statistic data. The privacy protection is guaranteed by the nature of the statistical data, that don’t contain any personal information, nor geolocation points that can be associated to a specific person or their home. It is only data regarding the app usage and an approximated geolocation, obtained by truncating the geographical coordinates in a way to not be able to discern points in less than a 2km(1.2mi) radius. The data can be shared only by voluntary choice and after viewing it.

What does it mean that the diAry points correspond to WOM?

WOM is an open platform, included in the instruments of social innovation of the European Commission, that recognizes the social value of individual actions. WOMs can be collected in a free application called WOM Pocket, which lets you use them as vouchers to obtain discounts and concessions. For more info: https://wom.social/

What accuracy does diAry have?

The app’s accuracy depends on the precision of the localization systems of your smartphone and on the conditions of its usage. The main system used is the GPS, which bases itself on satellite signals, so it can have positioning errors down to 5 metres if out in the open, but in buildings or very narrow roads the accuracy drops drastically. To reduce the battery consumption diAry collects the bare minimum number of points to help you rebuild your movements. With this in mind, you should expect to see dots on the map every now and then.

What are the circles in the main page of diAry?

The circles represent the quadrant of a 24 hour clock. So every angle, starting from the top and moving clockwise, is a moment of the day. The three concentric circles, starting from the outer one, represent your movements, locations and spontaneous annotations. When you move the outer circle will get coloured, when staying still the intermediate one will, and when you add an annotation a point will show up in the inner circle.

How does diAry know that I’m home?

Don’t forget that diAry works only on your smartphone. It recognizes your home only if you tell it where it is. It is very important that you set the position of your home on the map, so diAry can effectively know that you’re home when you’re within 20 metres of that point.

Can I change the position that I set as my home in diAry?

You can change the position of your home only if your address changes. For this reason you can’t change it more than once a day.

Can I mark other locations apart from my home in diAry?

Of course. It’s very important to do it, to make the automatic tracking more useful and readable. We recommend to mark your work location, as also any other location you visit frequently. Once marked, diAry will recognize them every time you go there, inserting in your track the label that you assigned to each location. 

Can I add notes to my movements?

diAry uses your smartphone’s indications to try and understand if you’re moving by foot or with a vehicle. If you’re using vehicles, it suggests you to point out if it’s your car or a public transport. Also, if it’s a public transport, it suggests to mark how many.

What is the + button that I see in the diAry app?

It’s used to insert spontaneous annotations, that you can add to diAry’s automatically collected data. There are two types of annotations: labels attributed to locations, that will be associated to the same locations every time you go there, and reports of particular situations that you think are worth to note, so diAry can keep memory of it marking time and place.