Sci-tech

Apple, Google to unveil contact tracing tech

Apple, Google to unveil contact tracing tech”

This API allows developers or governments to create applications that can help perform digital contact tracing.

Apple and Google have launched the first public version of their contact tracing API, that enables public health agencies across the world, to build apps that use "contact tracing" to track the spread of coronavirus. However, it was clarified that only beta versions of the API have been now released.

Without the full consent of data sharing from these tech companies, Patterson said it remains to be seen if these apps can be used effectively for contact tracking.

But on Friday the prime minister said the government would "strongly recommend" the use of an app as soon as Apple and Google offer their tracing technology.

An API is a set of tools that programmers use to develop a new software or technology.

The two tech companies said that several US states, including North Dakota, Alabama, and SC, are working on creating smartphone apps using the technology.

The report, however, added that Apple customers with phones older than the iPhone 6s, released in September 2015, won't be eligible to use the exposure notification software because out-of-date phones can't receive the latest updates.

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The contact tracing system relies on Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who has tested positive for the virus. Additionally, it is up to the person to report their COVID-19 diagnosis in a public health app should they contract the virus. The system use Bluetooth and works automatically.

Keep in mind that in order to use COVID-19 exposure notifications, you will need to also download a public health app that supports Apple's contact tracing. Then the health agency would be able to notify the device's owner that they've potentially been exposed. India's stance on this API could help it address the concerns of privacy activistsPrivacy activists have voiced their concern about the Indian government's data collection practices in the Aarogya Setu app.

While the Department of Health examines whether the API can be used in conjunction with COVIDSafe, Apple and Google have made clear there are restrictions on its use that could complicate any moves by Australia to take up the system.

The companies said collected data will not be monetised in any form and all of it will be stored and processed on the user's device.

However, it's up for participating health authorities to create a contact tracing app that taps into the exposure notifications APIs. 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.

It could, however, be many weeks or months before this is integrated into the COVIDSafe app.



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