- Apple and Google are working together to build the coronavirus contact tracing system using the Bluetooth technology
- Public health authorities and Government apps will also be able to take advantage
- Both companies ensure user privacy and security
Apple Incorporation and Google Incorporation, on Friday, announced a partnership to build a coronavirus contact tracing system, that will alert people when they come near someone who is affected by the virus. The contact tracing system will use the Bluetooth Low Energy technology. It will also help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, without violating the user’s privacy.
Apple and Google are developing the technology in iOS and Android, which includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology. Both companies are working to enable this in two steps.
In the first step, both companies will release APIs around mid-May that will enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices. Apps by public health authorities will be able to collect and exchange anonymous data. The official apps by public health authorities will be available to download via the Play Store or Apple app store.
In the second step, both companies will work to enable the Bluetooth-based contact tracing system in the operating system. Users are required to opt-in, but this solution could allow more people to participate. Public health authorities and Government apps will also be able to take advantage of this approach.
Apple and Google said, “Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders. We will openly publish information about our work for others to analyze.”