Google, Apple release jointly developed API for Covid-19 tracing apps

Google, Apple release jointly developed API for Covid-19 tracing apps

As we've previously described, this joint API was created to be coded into apps designed by public health officials - and the folks who voluntarily download these apps, in turn, have their phones transformed into Bluetooth beacons meant to track whether you've been in close contact with someone who tested covid-positive. The fact remains that the two tech giants offer a perfectly operational solution in this period of crisis.

The first public version which came out on Wednesday, can now be used by health officials in apps that are available to the general public. A model created by the University of Oxford suggests that around 60% of the people will have to download digital contact tracing applications for such apps to be effective.

Android and iOS device owners will have to carry out system upgrades. On the one hand, they have indicated that they want to be as useful as possible, but on the other, they must protect privacy of their users, "said Patterson". Public health authorities can also adjust other factors such as transmission risk according to their preferred standards.

Then there's the potential for abuse, the possibility of false positives and false negatives, and the chance that privacy protections will be permanently weakened if health tracking technology gets put into place without an accompanying legal framework. We also don't now know how it will be integrated and how it will work in practicality. In addition, all metadata associated with Bluetooth is also encrypted which makes it even more hard to identify someone based on the transmitting power from a particular phone model.

Apple and Google launch exposure notification API, enabling public health authorities to release apps

The basic idea is that you run one of these apps on your phone, and the software uses the Apple-Google-developed interface to communicate with copies of itself on other people's nearby devices over Bluetooth. The digital system can also make it simple to track contact with strangers as digital contact tracing does not rely on a person's memory. Authorities are seeking to use the data to jog the memory of individuals who may not always recall their contact history. These APIs are said to be improving the technology of the existing contact tracing applications.

Recently, the government of India developed a contact tracing application Aarogya Setu, which raised flak from cybersecurity experts around the world. And the central government's massive awareness campaigns to get people to install it, have bore fruits, with the app crossing 100 Million downloads in less than a month of release.

However, governments have encountered limitations due to restrictions set by smartphone companies that limit communication between devices.

When the crisis has disappeared, the system must be taken down. Apple and Google say 22 countries in five continents have requested and received access to the API, and more are expected to join in the coming weeks.

US Senate Approves Bill To De-List Chinese Companies From Stock Exchange
Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's (PCAOB) audits for three years in a row, Reuters reported . The Trump administration supported increasing accountability of Chinese companies.

Related Articles