Google and Apple are collaborating on a technology to trace anyone who has been in contact with Coronavirus.
This technology functions with the aid of Bluetooth signals will track if users have been in contact with anyone exposed to coronavirus.
Though the invention was brainstormed by Health experts, the device isn’t approved for use yet.
The collaboration of Google and Apple to invent the Corona contact tracing technology aims to slow the spread of the coronavirus by allowing users to opt into logging other phones they have been near.
The collaboration between the two Silicon Valley companies is rare, 99% smartphones are powered by the operating systems of these companies.
The app aims to get potentially infected individuals into testing or quarantine more quickly and reliably than existing systems in much of the world. Health experts say once the lockdown order ends the tracing app will play a vital role in managing the virus.
Millions of people are required to opt into the system for the contact tracing tech to work, trusting the technology companies’ safeguards, as well as smooth oversight by public health systems.
However, both companies started developing this Technology two weeks ago to streamline technical differences between Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Android that had stymied the interoperation of some existing contact tracing apps.
Under the plan, users’ phones with the technology will emit unique Bluetooth signals. Phones within about six feet can record anonymous information about encounters
People who test positive for the virus can opt to send an encrypted list of phones they came near to Apple and Google, which will trigger alerts to potentially exposed users to seek more information. Public health authorities would need to sign off that an individual has tested positive before they can send on the data.
The logs will be scrambled to keep infected individuals’ data anonymous, even to Apple, Google and contact tracing app makers, the companies said. Apple and Google said their contact tracing system will not track GPS location.
Software tools will be released Mid-May by Google and Apple to contact tracing apps that they and public health authorities approve. Apps including Private Kit and CoEpi, offered their assistance to help in the development of the the tech.
Google said the tools and updates would not be available where its services are blocked, such as in China or on unofficial Android devices. Apple will distribute the technology as an update to its iPhone operating system.
Note: Technology isn’t a substitute for testing, no doubt you need to know who has it, but it produces actionable results so people can act responsibly. The best thing to do to reduce anxiety in the community is to self-isolate, said Al Gidari, a Stanford University law school lecturer and previously long-time external counsel to Google.