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Apple-Google Partnered to track COVID-19 using Bluetooth

After the individual efforts of Google and Apple toward coronavirus pandemic, now both the tech rivals are teaming up to fight against the virus. The duo has planned a Bluetooth powered COVID-19 tracker that traces whether you come in contact or in close proximity with an infected person or not.

Coronavirus has over 17,54,457 confirmed cases with over 1,07,520 fatalities.

These efforts will help in contact tracing for health care organizations. This is a forward-thinking tracing system. In the official documentation from Google, it is mentioned that the phones exchange anonymous
identifier beacons when a COVID-19 patient comes in contact with a person.

The plan will work on both Android and iOS. Initially, both will release their respective APIs in the month of May and after integration with public health authorities apps, the OS level changes will be done to enable Bluetooth low energy and contact tracing.

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

The tracer will use the data of an app from a public health authority that provides the information of the positive diagnosed person. After exchanging keys with the contacted device of another person using Bluetooth, a few days later, with the explicit consent of the positive tested person, all the keys will be uploaded to the cloud and the contacted person will receive an alert that they are exposed to a positive diagnosed person. Due to privacy concerns, the name of the coronavirus positive person will not be shown to the contacted person.

What about the Privacy?

  • The plans uses explicit user consent.
  • It will not collect users location data.
  • It will not collect any personal identifiable information of the users.
  • Positive tested person will not be identified by any other person even not by Apple or Google.

In a joint statement from Apple and Google, the system will be live in coming months.

Ritik Banger

Founder and Editor of The Tech Infinite. An Engineering Graduand who loves to write in Cyber Security, Tech News, Privacy Breaches, and Tutorials.

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