Historic: Apple And Google Join Hands For Contact Tracing Technology To Combat COVID-19

by GoNews Desk 1 month ago Views 1462
Historic: Apple And Google Join Hands For Contact
As countries fight with the novel coronavirus pandemic, systems are being designed to trace and track the movement of COVID-19 carriers and the people around them in a bid to stop the virus spread.

Now in an unprecedented move, Apple and Google have joined hands to deploy contact tracing technology on Android and iOS devices to trace & track the COVID-19 carriers and maintain a database on the user's device using BlueTooth.

Contact tracing uses mass surveillance to track citizens' movement and is currently the most potent weapon governments have to monitor the spread of the highly infectious virus.

(Credit - Apple and Google)

“We are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design,” both companies said in a joint statement.

In May, both companies will release APIs that “enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices” using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download from the App Store and Google Play.

These apps will share data through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmissions. The system will alert the app users in case they come nearby a COVID-19 carrier but for that, both parties must be registered on the apps.

Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union raised concerns over tracking users with phone data, arguing that any such system's scope should be limited and without infringing +user privacy.

Though unlike GPS tracking, this system doesn’t track a user’s physical location but accumulates signals of nearby phones at five-minute intervals and store them in a database. If one person tests positive, they could inform the app they’ve been infected, and it would further notify other people whose phones passed within close range in the previous days.

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