Apple and Google signed a landmark partnership a few weeks ago to develop a common application standard that allows governments to conduct sophisticated contact-tracking campaigns that could help them contain the new coronavirus outbreak. COVID-19 is more contagious than we would have expected, having infected more than 5.7 million people worldwide as of Wednesday morning and claiming the lives of more than 353,000 patients. Countries such as South Korea, Iceland, Germany, Vietnam, and New Zealand stood out in testing and tracing contacts in previous months. But since the curve has flattened in most places and social distancing measures have been loosened, There are many second wave concerns. New outbreaks are possible and sustained testing and extended follow-up campaigns will be required to avoid widespread transmission. Tools such as the Apple-Google API that can be used in tracking apps are definitely needed to scale up contact tracking far beyond what human trackers could accomplish. The first country to launch an app based on the Apple-Google standard is Switzerland, and Latvia and other European countries will follow soon.
The Swiss Coronavirus Contact Tracking App will initially be available to members of the Swiss Army, hospital workers, and public officials. The application is called SwissCovid and will soon be available to the general population, by the BBC.
Apple-Google API also gives developers continuous access to Bluetooth on iPhone and Android such as various security and privacy features intended to ensure the identity of users and avoid data collection. API-based applications will allow phones to talk to establish a link via Bluetooth and store the record of that interaction. In this entire process, only one anonymous identification of each interaction record is stored in a database, making the Apple-Google form the most private contact tracking technology proposed so far.
When a person confirms their positive diagnosis of COVID-19 within the app, the the phone will ping that database. The other phones will continue to download the same database and look for positives. This is how they could tell you that you may have been around a person infected with the new coronavirus at some point in the past two weeks and would be warned that some action might be required.
Apple-Google Coronavirus Contact Tracking Application Concept for iPhone
Apple’s app uses a decentralized model because no authority could collect data on users. Centralized applications, like the one the UK has been piloting and he’s seen a lot of criticism lately with experts finding seven security flaws in the app already. France is looking to implement your own contact tracking app, one that would not use the Apple-Google APIs.
Members of parliament will have to debate and approve the Swiss application before it is available to the public. But 70 percent of Swiss residents already support the initiative, the BBC notes.
Latvia is about to launch its Apturi Covid application on Thursday, as the application does not depend on a vote in parliament. Apple has approved it and Google must do the same for the application to appear in the Play Store. Latvia could become the first country to implement an Apple-Google based COVID-19 tracking application that would be available across the country. “Of course we would be very happy to be the first [national launch], but the most important thing is to help our inhabitants fight the virus, “a Latvian spokesman told the BBC.
“The developers believe that reliance on this standard will ensure widespread adoption and also compatibility over time with contact tracking applications worldwide that are also expected to adopt the same exposure notification framework,” they said. application developers. told Reuters earlier this week. In fact, the API would allow tracking of contacts across borders, which could be beneficial for large countries like the United States and the entire European Union.
Apple and Google have already confirmed that some 22 countries and some US states. USA They have already requested access to the API.