Apple and Google announce Bluetooth-based COVID contact tracing platform

Google and Apple collaborate to build Covid-19 tracking app

indica News Service

Technology companies Apple and Google have announced that they are building a Bluetooth-based COVID-19 contact tracing platform. This will enable people to know if they have come in contact with a coronavirus infected person. This contact tracing platform will help the health officials to track and check the spread of Covid-19 and it will not violate user’s privacy.

What Apple and Google said about this Covid-19 tracking app: 

“Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology. 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. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.”

Both Google and Apple are working on APIs or application programming interfaces (APIs). They are also working on the operating system-level technology which will assist to enable contract tracing. These apps once released will be available on App Store and Google Play.  

The technology will help contact tracing which has been one of the reasons for the fast community spread of the virus. India at the moment is using an Aarogya Setu app which can help the officials in contact tracing. However this app does not have the interoperability between Android and iOS devices. The platform is likely to be launched in mid-May. 

The joint statement from Apple and Google further added:

“Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this 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. 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, ”