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Google brings COVID exposure notification to Android 11

The company is making sure the contact tracing apps do not access location data from user's device.

  • Published: August 2, 2020 3:01 PM IST
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Google and Apple came together to develop a COVID 19 tracking tool. The feature called exposure notification system (ENS) rolled out with the iOS 13 update. And now, Google is integrating ENS with Android 11. It has made sure the feature works without raising any privacy concerns. The company says ENS will be able to function without enabling location settings. Also Read - Google Play Store bans 29 malicious Android applications

“On Android 11, which will soon be released, users will be able to use Exposure Notification apps without turning on the device location setting,” Google said in this post. ENS basically helps various governments to design their contact tracing apps, without compromising on security and privacy of users. Also Read - Oppo Watch with Google's WearOS launched in India: Price, features, offers, specifications

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And since Android 11 has a stronger focus on security, Google has made sure ENS integration works seamlessly into the platform. It has been pointed out that apps designed for tracing purposes are likely to reference their search on the basis of location data. And Google-Apple has made sure that concern is taken out of the equation. Which makes sure users installing these apps have nothing to worry about. Also Read - Google Pixel 4A launch date announced, hints at great cameras and long-lasting battery

Google-Apple tracing feature not compatible with India’s Aarogya Setu

The ENS was to be integrated into various apps in countries heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic so that people could stay clear of risky areas. The API rolled out in India a few weeks back. As you might already know, the API was to be implemented in one standard health and safety-oriented app in each country. However, Indian anti-COVID app Aarogya Setu is reportedly not compatible with the ‘Exposure Notification’ API.

Apple and Google have both developed a set of privacy protocols. Most of these are related to privacy, in case the developers wish to add more functionality to the API. Also, the conditions empower individual users to explicitly opt-in to use the technology, prevent the collection or use of location data from the device. And since the Aarogya Setu app uses both the data for tracing, the ENS feature will not be compatible. Unless the Indian government decides to make those changes to adhere to the policies of the feature.

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  • Published Date: August 2, 2020 3:01 PM IST



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