Apple and Google have finally come up with a system to track the spread of coronavirus. The technology will allow the user to share data through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmissions and applications that have been approved by the health organizations.
Source: The VentureBeat
This system uses short-range Bluetooth communications to make a voluntary connection of contact-tracing network if you have been in close proximity of the person who has symptoms of coronavirus. Only public health authorities will have access to the data and users who download the system can let the staff members know about their conditions related to COVID-19.
Both the tech companies will release a pair of iOS and Android APIs in mid-May and will optimize the application to make it more efficient for healthcare facilities. Right now, the users will just have to install the application to participate in contact tracing.
Source: The Verge
However, in the months to come after API has been successfully introduced, the companies will work on building tracing functionality into the underlying operating system, as an option immediately available to everyone with an iOS or Android phone.
This comes as one of the most effective solutions during the pandemic as it is very important to identify the people who have been in close contact with the patients so they can isolate themselves and receive the necessary treatment in the early stages. The only problem that arises due to this is the breach of privacy that this whole system is based on.
The system will operate by using digital surveillance technology and with the previous records of Facebook and government, it would be difficult to establish trust among the people. Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union argued that any developed system should be limited in scope so that user privacy is not compromised at any cost.
Even though unlike GPS, this Bluetooth system will not keep a track of physical location but Apple and Google are still in contact with the government to discuss how to safely introduce the application.