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System By Apple & Google To Trace COVID-19
Apple and Google partnered up and are aiming to trace coronavirus with a contact tracing system that is based on Bluetooth. The users will share data from approved apps from public health organisation. This system can apparently tell you if you have been exposed to a coronavirus infected person.
The companies elaborated that the system would use transmissions of short range Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), pulling together a network that will keep detailed data on phones that are near each other. Moreover, the coronavirus infected can report by downloading the apps of health organizations, where the system will alert other users about their proximity to infected people.
Of course, Apple and Google will maintain privacy concerns as the Bluetooth-based system will broadcast anonymous keys every 15 minutes, from the moment the users report about coronavirus diagnosis. This data will be purely anonymous. But security experts pointed out flaws about false reports and there is also the case of false positives and false negatives.
In addition to cooperating with different public health organizations, they intend to introduce iOS and the Android APIs in May. And after completion, they plan to implement the tracing feature in operating systems of iOS 13 or Android 6.0 or above, so everybody owning a phone of one of these OS can use it and won’t have to download an app. But that’s an issue for future.
Only the public health authorities will have access to the contact tracing API, and the received data will be decentralized so as not to let governments conduct surveillance, to protect it from people with unfavourable intention. This also raises the question of whether Apple and Google will have access to the data of the contact tracing system, and they admit that no system is secure. But they ask users to deem their system reliable and trust in it.