Technology 2 min read

Google and Apple to Launch COVID-19 Contact Tracing Technology

bob boz / Shutterstock.com

bob boz / Shutterstock.com

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Google and Apple joined hands to develop a contact tracing technology that could warn people if they've been exposed.

Silicon Valley tech companies Google and Apple are working together to stop COVID-19 from spreading. The two companies are reportedly developing a new contact tracing technology to monitor COVID-19 patients.

With the help of the said tech, Google and Apple will notify people if they’ve been in contact with anyone who tested positive for the disease.

The project aims to reach billions of people using mobile devices powered by Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems. The tools will use Bluetooth radio technology to support apps created by the health authorities.

“Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health organizations have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread,” Google said in its announcement.

“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.”

Google and Apple’s Contact Tracing Tech

Google and Apple are planning to launch their contact tracing technology next month.

They’ll first release APIs to allow interoperability between Android and iOS through apps from public health authorities. The said applications will be available for download via Google and Apple’s respective app stores.

In the following months, the two companies will work on a Bluetooth-based contact tracing tech. This time, they will build the functionality into the underlying platforms.

“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,” Google added.

But, using trackers to monitor COVID-19 patients has already met opposition from human rights activists. Many fear that such technology would violate people’s right to privacy.

Regarding the said issue, Google assured the public that they would coordinate with interested stakeholders while developing their technology. This is to ensure that people’s privacy won’t be compromised.

“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.”

You can find more details about the project here.

Read More: Activists Fear Current Pandemic May Kill Privacy Rights

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is the current Managing Editor of Edgy. She's an experienced SEO content writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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