With the pandemic in full swing and causing chaos quietly around the world, Tech giants Apple and Google are jointly developing technology to alert people if they have recently come into contact with others found to be infected with coronavirus.
They have been working on the effort for about two weeks but have not externally revealed their plans until Friday.
Know as a contact-tracing method, the tech would work by using a smartphone’s Bluetooth signals to determine whom the owner had recently been in proximity for long enough to have established contagion a risk.
If one of those people later tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, a warning would be sent to the original handset owner.
No GPS location data or personal information would be recorded the two companies claim.
This has not stopped some criticism coming their way as concerns were raised about privacy issues around the implementation of the app .In an article published on RT News, one App developer by the name of Julian Teicke from Germany said:
“We do not think it is the best solution that Google and Apple own the server on which all the contacts plus the medical status of citizens around the world are uploaded,”
To this criticism and more Apple and Google responded in a joint statement saying:
“Privacy, transparency and consent are of utmost importance in this effort and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders,”
Although the tech companies are leading the charge, Some countries like including Singapore, Israel, South Korea and Poland – are already using people’s handsets to issue coronavirus contagion alerts.
Other health authorities/providers of some other countries are working on initiatives of their own while some local governments in the United States are reportedly about to adopt a third-party app.
The two technology giants aim to bring coherence to all this by allowing existing third-party apps to be retrofitted to include their solution.
This would make the apps inter-operable, meaning that tracing would continue to work when people travel overseas and come into contact with people using a different app.
Apple and Google hope that if this is successful the tech could help ease the lock down restrictions imposed by many countries around the world.