Germany switches to Apple/Google anonymity for COVID-19 tracer app

Joanna Estrada
April 30, 2020

According to a report form The Verge, after a test phase started this week the companies are set to release a first version of an application programming interface (API) to some developers working for public health agencies in the weeks ahead.

Bluetooth information coupled with testing data will allow future apps to inform people if they've come in contact with someone who has been confirmed to carry the virus.

The API has been released to a few developers and a public release is expected in mid-May.

The system, announced on April 10, will use Bluetooth technology to let authorities build apps to alert people who have been in proximity with those who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

In a poll released by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland released this week, it was revealed that half of Americans with smartphones would not use an app created by Apple and/or Google to help track COVID-19 cases.

The companies also said they would provide data on how many days had passed since the last contact with an infected person, to help authorities notify users about what steps to take.

Apple released a beta version of Xcode 11.5 and the third beta of iOS 13.5. Google is also releasing a new beta of Google Play services with the first version of its exposure notification API. After the public release, developers will be able to use the software features with publicly available apps released on both Android and iOS devices. Only 43 percent of smartphone users said they had "a great deal" or "a good amount" of trust in Google and Apple and other tech companies.

How will the exposure notification work? .

Such data is kept anonymous, but if one individual later reports via the app they have coronavirus symptoms, individuals that their phone has connected with are alerted. This is done by using the Bluetooth system on users' phones to "ping" other users around them.

Gould has hit back at privacy concerns too, claiming rhte would be "a series of protections" to keep users' privacy in taxt, with data only used for NHS care and research.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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