Apple & Google Team Up To Launch Contact Tracing App For COVID-19
By Thanussha Priyah, 13 Apr 2020
Image via Google
Apple and Google are overlooking their rivalry, and have instead joined forces to stop the spread of coronavirus. The two tech giants are developing contact tracing technology to track the contagion of the coronavirus from person to person.
On Twitter, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the collaboration, stressing that the project will offer “transparency” and “consent” for users.
The app will utilize Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmission to alert users if they have come in close contact with anyone who has been infected with the virus. Through Bluetooth, users who cross paths will exchange “identifier beacons” instead of personal details like names and locations to safeguard their anonymity.
Proximity identifiers will also rotate every 15 minutes to prevent device tracking.
Users will be alerted if they have been in contact with someone who was tested positive with COVID-19 based on broadcast beacon identifiers downloaded by their devices.
If a user has been tested positive, they will have to enter the result into an app approved by an official health body. This information will be translated into an anonymous tip-off to those who have come in close contact with them, as well as alerts them on what to do next.
Google has unveiled a pictorial guide on how the technology will work. Take a look at it below.
Apple/Google partner on automatic, anonymised bluetooth-based contact tracing. Very clever. pic.twitter.com/3aruVkov8x— Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) April 10, 2020
Contact tracing can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and can be done without compromising user privacy. We’re working with @sundarpichai & @Google to help health officials harness Bluetooth technology in a way that also respects transparency & consent. https://t.co/94XlbmaGZV— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 10, 2020
To help public health officials slow the spread of #COVID19, Google & @Apple are working on a contact tracing approach designed with strong controls and protections for user privacy. @tim_cook and I are committed to working together on these efforts.https://t.co/T0j88YBcFu— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) April 10, 2020
[via PYMNTS, cover image via Google]
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