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Google and Apple to join forces against Coronavirus pandemic using advanced contact tracing

Both Google and Apple will be working together to implement advaced and interoperable contact tracing solutions using Bluetooth.

  • Published: April 11, 2020 10:39 AM IST
Google and Apple

With the outbreak of Coronavirus becoming more of a serious issue in more and more countries, governments and health authorities are working towards finding solutions to curb the spread. A large reason for the fast-spreading of the virus is infected people not knowing that they are infected. Even worse, sometimes, they may know and still choose to hide their case. Either way, this risks carrying the virus to more people. Now, technology giants Google and Apple just announced a joint effort to do something about this. Also Read - Coronavirus: Fake malware-laced apps and why they are so dangerous?

The companies will be collaborating on a Bluetooth-based technology to help governments reduce the spread of Coronavirus. The virus in most cases spreads to those who are close to us and the ones infected people come into contact with directly. In such a scenario, contact tracing becomes a valuable tool to identify new possibly positive cases. Also Read - Coronavirus: This pandemic is also delaying new emojis as Unicode 14.0 release pushed back

Watch: Top 5 apps providing free services during coronavirus pandemic

Many companies and organizations around the world are implementing contact tracing solutions to combat the virus. To add in, Apple and Google will be launching application programming interfaces (APIs) along with OS-level tech to assist with this. There will be two major steps of the plan. Also Read - Coronavirus: Google shares travel habits of users during the pandemic

How does the plan work?

In the first step users of both, iOS and Android will have interoperability thanks to these APIs. This will work on devices using apps from public health authorities. These recognized apps will be available to download via the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

In the second step, both Apple and Google will be enabling a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform. This functionality will be implemented into underlying platforms. Being a better solution than new APIs, this would eventually allow more individuals to participate. Moreover, this would also allow the interoperability between a broader spectrum of apps and support more 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,” said Google in a recent blog post.

“All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems. Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life,” the post added.

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  • Published Date: April 11, 2020 10:39 AM IST



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