Tech Giants Google, Apple Collaborate To Help Trace Covid-19 Contacts

Tech Giants Google, Apple Collaborate To Help Trace Covid-19 Contacts

Google and Apple last week joined hands to create a decentralized contact tracing tool that will help individuals determine whether they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Google's website explained how this will work, stating that if you have a phone and you cross paths with someone who ends up testing positive for coronavirus, you may be alerted that you've come in contact with coronavirus. "As cited from XDA Developers, these non-Android One apparatus that feature" com.google.android.dialer.support" may download the Google Phone program and put it to use.

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is working with Apple to develop an app to assist with the tracking of COVID-19. Google on its part revealed it will push out the update via the Play Services, and it will work on devices running Android 6.0 or newer. They appear on your home screen like regular apps, launch the same way, use fewer resources (battery life and storage) and don't care which operating system you're using.

However, emphasis have been put on the fact that privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort.

Verification will be a very important step in Apple's and Google's contact tracing system, preventing users from falsely reporting that they have tested positive for COVID-19 and inflicting unnecessary worry on others. It will then be up to those firms to distribute the APIs and Bluetooth tracing. However, it would seem that the Google Phone open beta application is right now appearing for download on a non-Pixel gadget. Users are required to provide personal details when registering and location data is shared with the police.

It said data would never be sold to third-parties nor would it use the information for commercial purposes. The kind of data being collected has to match the objective, since tracking overall trends would have different data requirements from identifying unknown patients, for example.

The press release announcing the partnership does state that user privacy and security are central to the design.

But contact tracing during the height of a pandemic is nearly impossible because it's such a manual process.

Aarogya Setu, an app launched by the Indian government to help people find out if they have been around someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, now tops the list in India with over 780,000 downloads a day.

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