Apple and Google team up for contact tracing Covid-19 app

On Friday, Apple and Google revealed an unusual partnership to help combat the novel coronavirus. According to a joint statement from the firms, the tech giants said they would use Bluetooth to create "contact tracing technology" tools to alert users if they have come in close contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19.

 

by Niranjani Jesentha Kumari Prabagararaj

Updated: Apr 11, 2020 11:30 IST

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Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai

"Most of the leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs have been doing considerable work to develop opt-in touch tracing technology."

To this purpose, Apple and Google will launch a comprehensive solution, including application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technologies to help monitor contacts.

"Contact tracing can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and can be done without compromising user privacy," said Tim Cook in a tweet and here is the tweet.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai echoed Cook's sentiments in a separate tweet, saying his company's approach to contact tracing is "built with strong user privacy controls and protections."

"Contact tracing is something that has been done for a long period," Brownstein said. "Obviously, with the advent of the cell phone, that becomes a natural kind of beacon to understand who you communicated with."

According to Brownstein, contact tracing technology was used early and effectively when the COVID-19 outbreak reached South Korea. This also helped stabilize infections faster out there than in other places.

Brownstein said that while it's "very exciting to see Google and Apple working together," these apps need to be widely used in order to be successful and have an accurate picture.

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