Apple, Google’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing is here now
We have received can you update from the tech giants Apple and Google about their contact tracing system for COVID-19. Apple has said that the contact tracing will be available without an app two iPhones on Tuesday, while Google will roll out this feature later this month.
As per a Bloomberg, report feature is known as Exposer Notifications Express will allow users and public health authorities to see if they have been closed to infected people for long durations.
The companies have said that the system will work alongside the apps released by public health authorities in respective countries. In case of Android, the regions that don’t offer apps won’t see any benefit from this update.
How the system will work in the feature will notify users if they have been in contact with an infected person and will later provide information about how to reach public health authorities.
The two tech companies will then use the information to set up systems that owners can opt to determine whether they have been near someone who has tested the coronavirus’s body-positive.
For iPhone users, Apple released an update of iOS 13.7 on Tuesday that will bring the feature. Google will provide the update to Android devices running version 6.0 in later.
Moreover, iPhone users won’t have to install an app. While Android device owners will need established public health apps generated by local health authorities to function. This saves public health organizations then needs to develop their own applications fully.
So far, the system has been available in 20 countries and regions, covering almost 55% of the US population.
Without an app, the system can be found in the settings of apple and Android devices. Live with the initial approach. Bluetooth will be used to determine how close and for how long the user is from another person. If a user inputs that they have been tested positive for COVID-19, then the person with the phone that met the threshold of time and distance will be notified of possible exposure.
What about the privacy of the users?
The technology is still controversial as it involves sharing sensitive health information of millions of people by mobile devices that will constantly broadcast their location. Many politicians and regulators have warned the citizens to protect their privacy.
But the Apple and Google both have stressed that their systems preserve the user’s privacy as consent will be required and location data is not collected. Users also won’t be able to know the identity of the person they came into contact with or where that happened.
This isn’t the first step that tech giants have taken against COVID-19. Earlier, Google launched an information website in March while Apple released its screening tools limited to iPhone users. Also, Apple has donated over 20 million masks to healthcare workers and has designed face shields while verily e unit of alphabet Inc is running testing sites in parts of California.
A joint representative from Google and Apple did inform that any contact tracing system will have a false positive rate justice some COVID-19 tests do. In other words, the system will be perfect. But if done right with full knowledge of the risks involved, it does provide some rewards. As we are facing the COVID-19 pandemic, we may need every tool possible at our disposal.