HomeNewsCOVID-19 crisis: Apple collaborates with Google to facilitate contact tracing technology

COVID-19 crisis: Apple collaborates with Google to facilitate contact tracing technology

The tech giants’ aim is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.

With the COVID-19 outbreak, governments and health authorities are working day-and-night to find out solutions in order to protect people and get society back up and running. Now, tech giants Google and Apple have also announced a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to assist governments and health agencies in containing the spread of Coronavirus virus.

Several health organizations have found contact tracing as a pivotal tool to enable the medics contain the spread of COVID-19 outbreak as it can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals.

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Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to help the government and health agencies use contact tracing as a tool to combat COVID-19 pandemic.

Mind you! Apple and Google’s plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy:

  • First, in May, both Google and Apple 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 via their respective app stores.
  • Second phase will start post May. During this time, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. The companies claims, “This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities.”

However, emphasis have been put on the fact that privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort. Both Google and Apple hope to create this contact tracing technology after consulting with interested stakeholders. Moreover, the information will be made transparent for others to analyse what’s happening.

Asserting that there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems COVID-19 pandemic, Apple and Google believe that “through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.”

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