Apple And Google Partnered to fight COVID-19
Apple and Google announced a partnership on Friday. The two companies will cooperate to provide tools to help track the spread of the new coronavirus.
Apple said the two companies will launch developer tools (APIs) in May to make the public health department’s applications (Apps) interoperable between Android and iOS devices. These apps will be launched in the iTunes App Store and Google Play store.
Google and Apple announced a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of viruses and to protect user privacy and security as the core of the design.– a press release announcing the partnership said
Bluetooth technology can usually use smaller Bluetooth beacons to track the location of the phone, these beacons can provide a more accurate location than cellular signals or GPS. Apple and Google’s tools will enable App makers to use Bluetooth technology to let people know when they have been in contact with a diagnosed patient. This process is called “contact tracing.”
Both Android and iOS devices allow users to choose which apps have the right to access the Bluetooth tracking location, and can turn off tracking freely. It is unclear whether these apps will track individual locations or just track a confirmed patient’s contact with others.
Apple said in a press release: “In the next few months, Apple and Google will enable the broader Bluetooth-based contact tracking platform by building this feature in the base platform.”
It is worth noting that this method is “opt-in” tracking, which means that users must agree to accept tracking if they participate. “Contact tracing” allows health officials to monitor the spread of the virus by looking at who is in close contact with the infected person.
Such applications have been used in other countries or regions such as Singapore. Mobile phones equipped with contact tracking apps will record contact between people and store the data for 21 days. In Singapore, the Bluetooth signal records when people are close to each other, but does not collect the location of the users of the app.
The two companies said, “In this work, privacy, transparency and informed permission are of paramount importance, and we look forward to consulting with interested stakeholders to build this feature. We will publicly release information about the work to For others to analyze. “
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