Apple and Google Partner to Launch a Joint COVID-19 Contact Tracing Framework

Apr 10, 2020
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As per the latest, Apple and Google announced today a joint initiative to help government and health agencies reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The COVID-19 tracing framework will use Bluetooth to help individuals determine whether they have been exposed to someone with the virus. This will help public health authorities track the spread of the virus and inform individuals if they have been exposed.

Apple And Google Partner on New COVID-19 Tracing Technology to Be Part of iPhones and Android Devices

According to Apple, user privacy and security will be greatly emphasized and will play a central role in the design of the project. The system will make use of API that health authorities can integrate into their own respective apps. Next comes the contact tracing system which will work on both, iOS and Android in order to ensure if individuals are exposed to the virus or not.

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Furthermore, the system will make use of onboard radios from your device. The signals sent out will be anonymous in nature with a dedicated ID over short ranges. The servers will relay the last 14 days of rotating IDs in order to search for a match with other devices. The match will be determined based on the amount of time and distance kept between the two devices.

Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology. To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.

The APIs will be released in May which will allow iOS and Android to work with each other reciprocally. The respective apps from public health authorities will be available to all users from the iOS App Store and Google Play.

Apple says that the broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform is more robust than an API and will allow individuals to participate if they choose to opt-in. Moreover, the framework will also allow for greater interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps.

We will share more on the story as soon as we hear it. Share your views on Apple and Google's partnership to help reduce the COVID-19 spread in the comments.

News Source: Apple

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