Apple and Google are Collaborating on COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Today, Apple and Google revealed they are working with Bluetooth technology to make touch monitoring easier for governments and health agencies. The underpinning firms should concentrate on privacy and protection for users.

The solution they’re developing will consist of application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level support to “assist in enabling contact tracing.”

They say they plan to deploy the tools in two steps. To start, next month they’ll release APIs that will allow for interoperability between iOS and Android devices when using public health apps.

Afterward, Apple and Google plan to allow for “broader” Bluetooth-based contact tracing by building support for the functionality directly into their mobile operating systems. They say system-level support will allow more people to participate, as well as support more interactions with a broader number of apps used by government health organizations.

To address potential privacy concerns, the companies plan to develop the technologies in collaboration with “interested stakeholders.” They’ll also publish information about their work so experts and other organizations can analyze what they’re doing.

“All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems,” the companies said in a joint statement. “Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.”

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