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Poland is making quarantined citizens use a selfie app to prove they're staying inside

Over 300,000 coronavirus cases worldwide
Over 300,000 coronavirus cases worldwide 01:52

In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Poland is asking quarantined residents to prove that they're following the rules and staying at home – by taking selfies. The country launched a phone app on Friday for residents who are under under mandatory 14-day quarantines after returning from abroad, AFP reports.

People who are supposed to be isolating themselves at home take selfies and upload them to the app as proof that they're not outside. "People in quarantine have a choice: either receive unexpected visits from the police, or download this app," Karol Manys, Digital Ministry spokesman, told AFP.

Screen shots show the initial instructions users see when opening Poland's Home Quarantine app.  Home Quarantine app

The "Home Quarantine" app is available in the iTunes app stone. Upon downloading, the app asks you to add your phone number, hunker down in your quarantine location and then follow the instructions for uploading your photographic evidence. 

The app uses geolocation and facial recognition technology, and randomly requests selfies. The user has 20 minutes to upload the selfie from safe inside their quarantine – or the police will pay them a visit. CBS News has reached out to Poland's Digital Ministry for more information. 

On Friday, Police in Poland issued a $118 fine (500-zloty) on one person who broke their mandatory quarantine – and fines could go up to $1,163.38 (5,000 zlotys), according to AFP. 

The country closed its borders to foreigners and schools country will be closed until Easter. As of Monday, there have been 684 coronavirus cases in Poland and eight deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

Poland is not the only country employing an app to do help with its coronavirus tracking.

Singapore developed the TraceTogether app, which uses Bluetooth signals between cellphones to keep track of who people come in contact with, according to ZD Net, which is published by CBS Interactive and TechRepublic. 

TraceTogether can estimate the proximity between two people with the app and the duration of their interaction. 

It will then identify users who are within 6.5 feet of each other for 30 minutes. The data is stored on the user's phone for 21 days – the incubation period of the virus – so they can keep track of interactions and possible exposures to the virus. Limiting interactions and the duration of interactions helps prevent the wider spread of the virus.  

A similar app is being used in South Korea, according to MIT Technology review. The "self-quarantine safety protection" app was, developed by the country's Ministry of the Interior and Safety. It allows those in mandatory quarantines to stay contact with case workers and report on their progress. 

The app also uses GPS technology to keep track of users' locations, making sure they don't breaking their quarantine.

Israel also released an app to help authorities track who people come in contact with, according to BBC News.

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