Technology News

Google, Apple ban location tracking feature in COVID-19 tracing apps


Google and Apple have recently made an announcement that their coronavirus tracing technologies will not have the use of location tracking. The announcement is capable of creating possible complications for certain apps that had planned to utilize the system of the two companies to let out the notifications to people who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19.

Contact tracing is essentially a process of both tracking and contacting people who have had possible exposure to a disease that is an infectious disease. Experts have labeled it as an important tool in helping to bring society to its normal pace amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The main part of all these efforts will be human wherein tens of thousands of the population shall be included in the US alone.

New technology is capable of complementing the manual efforts which had made several people look forward to the news of Google and Apple building a technology that would let the national health authorities across the world to be able to develop apps for exposure and contact tracing notification.

The full systems tend to use Bluetooth signals to ensure how close in contact the user was with diagnosed COVID-19 patients. It was to be released by mid-May while the developers own an early version of the system currently.

The Silicon Valley titans have released another set of requirements for the developers besides a ban on the sharing of location. The government health authorities are capable of creating the app and all the apps must get consent from the users before the usage of Exposure Notification API, while a second consent is needed before one shares the positive results as well as a diagnosis key with the public health authorities.

The data collection is to be minimized and to be used specifically for health purposes while other uses of such data is supposed to be banned.


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Pankaj Singh

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