Ever since Apple and Google issued a joint statement revealing about their plans to roll out COVID-19 exposure notification system back in May, people and media had been talking a lot about this technology that aimed to help public health authorities fight the Coronavirus pandemic. Now, as the COVID-19 exposure notification system has been introduced, it’s been creating a lot of confusion amongst the masses. Apple and Google seemingly failed to explain the users what “random IDs”, “authorized apps” are all about. Moreover, people are clueless about the silent installation of a COVID-19 “track and trace” app on Android and iPhone devices.
According to Boom, “Several viral messages on social media falsely claim that the latest #COVID19 Exposure Notification service launched by Google and Apple is actually a tracker that has been inserted into every phone during ‘phone disruptions earlier this week’.”
Besides this, there are forwarded messages on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter that the COVID-19 exposure sensor has been installed on every single Android and iPhone device. The message says that it becomes functional once Bluetooth is switched on. You’ll find similar messages on platforms including Facebook and Twitter as well. People are in utter confusion who it is being installed automatically.
According to a news report, FullFact.org, the UK’s independent fact checking charity, stated, “The claim that the [NHS COVID-19 track and trace] app has been automatically downloaded is incorrect. What has been added to both Android and Apple phones is the Exposure Notification API. This is not an app itself—it’s an underlying technology developed by Apple and Google that allows Coronavirus tracking apps made by public health bodies to work across devices.”
Meanwhile, Apple stated that if you own an iOS device with iOS 13.5 or later, you can gain access to COVID-19 exposure notification system by following this path:
• Go to Settings
• Click on Privacy
• Tap on Health to find the COVID-19 Exposure Logging
• Enable it if you wish to gain access
Apple further added, “When enabled, iPhone can exchange random IDs with other devices using Bluetooth. This enables an app to notify you if you may have been exposed to COVID-19. Exposure Logging cannot access any data in, or add any data to, the Health app.”
On the other hand, Android users can access COVID-19 exposure notification simply following this path:
1. Click on Settings
2. Select Google
3. Turn on COVID-19 Exposure Notifications
Earlier, Apple and Google in a joint statement had claimed, “Traditional methods of contact tracing are critical to containing the spread of infection. Technology can support and augment these efforts by allowing public health authorities to quickly notify people who may have been exposed to a person who has contracted COVID-19, including those the person might not know directly. This starts with Exposure Notifications on your smartphone, which enable contact tracing apps to send you a notification if you’ve likely been exposed to COVID-19. Contact tracing apps will be developed by your local public health authority, not by Google or Apple.”
Do let us know what you believe about COVID-19 exposure notification system by Apple and Google.
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