Apple, Google tool aimed at COVID-19 contact tracing

Google and Apple announce their joint Exposure Notification API is live

Following these with four stars are Australia's COVIDSafe, CovTracer from Cyprus, Italy's Immuni and Poland's ProteGO are all contact tracing app examples that can use the new API-whether they do it or not remains to be seen. Google and Apple have said the use of their API can help to improve battery life as well as detection across iPhone and Android devices - another key issue that COVIDSafe has suffered over the past four weeks.

Google and Apple recently launched its exposure notification API-which debuted originally as a joint contact-tracing software tool-to the public on May 21.

Two of the world's largest tech giants Google and Apple are now ready with their contact tracing application programming interfaces (APIs) to help India and other countries track the spread of Covid-19.

The technology is now available to developers to create apps, which the companies say is already beginning in 22 countries and several US states.

The two U.S. tech giants issued a statement on Wednesday to say they made the technology available to help public health agencies develop a contact-tracing app. Public health agencies can define parameters around exposure time and distance, and can tweak transmission risk and other factors according to their own standards.

Yesterday afternoon, Apple and Google's highly anticipated contact-tracing tech was officially rolled out, with Apple already baking it into the backend of its latest update.

Apple and Google have incorporated various privacy protections, including: (a) encryption of all device-specific Bluetooth metadata (e.g., signal strength, specific transmitting power), and (b) explicitly barring use of the API in any apps that also seek geolocation information permission from users.

In his daily news conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government was already helping Ontario, the most populous province, with contact tracing and was open to do the same for the other 12 provinces and territories.

One of the issues, cited by Soltani when The Register spoke with him about contact tracing apps in the United Kingdom and Australia, is that mass adoption is necessary to be effective. At the present time it is if you've been within 1.5 metres of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer.

"One new element of contact tracing is Exposure Notifications: using privacy-preserving digital technology to tell someone they may have been exposed to the virus".

In the coming months, Apple and Google will also develop and enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms-in this case, iOS for iPhones and Android OS for Android phones. Japan also plans to tap the technology to make the app available.

As we've previously described, this joint API was created to be coded into apps designed by public health officials - and the folks who voluntarily download these apps, in turn, have their phones transformed into Bluetooth beacons meant to track whether you've been in close contact with someone who tested covid-positive. "Public health authorities will take the lead with this technology, and we will continue to support and advocate for it". "We're working closely with Apple and Google on the update", Trudeau said.



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