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COVID-19: Apple and Google partner on Contact Tracing Technology


Apple and Google are jointly developing technology to alert people if they have recently come into contact with others found to be infected with coronavirus.

Apple and Google will be working together to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.

Since, as we know, COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have established contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread – as we could also see over here in Malta.

A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology.



To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing.

Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.

First, in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.
Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader
Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms.
This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities.
Apple and Google said that privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and that they look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders, whilst adding that they will openly publish information about their work for others to analyze.
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. 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.