Apple and Google release jointly developed exposure notification API

Apple and Google clash with health officials over COVID-19 contact tracing

The API prohibits access to location data over privacy-related concerns. Their software is merely able to be used by PHAs for their own apps.

Notably, the app is not even open-sourced and there is no option to disable exposure notifications. When you are tested positive, you enter your test result into the app. However this is still in the works as the two companies are in the process of determining what system-level features would be useful to the authorities.

While use of the app is voluntary, it is estimated that it will initially be used by at least one fifth of the population.

In addition to the privacy protections, there will be principles that PHA-developed apps will need to follow to use Google and Apple's Exposure Notification System. It will also be up to the individual phone user to declare if they have been infected by the Coronavirus or not, and lastly, once the pandemic is over, the app must be shut down. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, commented: "We invite other states to join us in leveraging smartphone technologies to strengthen existing contact tracing efforts, which are critical to getting communities and economies back up and running".

It utilises Bluetooth radios within smartphones.

But though providing an enabling API is a significant contribution, it probably won't be enough to make contact tracing apps a helpful tool in reducing virus spread. This perhaps means that they are prepared for the possibility that these apps may still be necessary once travel restrictions across the world lift. They will also work across national and regional borders and fix some of the problems that led previous apps to quickly drain a phone's battery. Google and Apple are expecting more requests in the coming weeks.

"That testing is ongoing".

Coronavirus: U.K. Unveils 14-Day Quarantine Plans
It came as teachers' union leaders said they remained unconvinced it will be safe to reopen primary schools in England on 1 June. EasyJet has said it will offer limited domestic flights, and one worldwide flight to Nice, France , from the middle of June.

The initial versions of those updates went live to the public today and are available as downloads on each device both as an iOS update and a Google Play Services update.

North Dakota had actually now introduced a location-tracking app that concerning 4% of state citizens are utilizing, more than various other USA states with comparable applications yet dropping much brief of the engagement price that professionals claim is required to make such technology beneficial.

One of the key issues was privacy, with many people uncomfortable sharing their location and personal health information with government officials. Through this approach, public health officials contact, test, treat and advise people who may have been exposed to an affected person.

They add that to protect users' privacy, the system will allow them to choose whether to use the contact-tracing function.

"Exposure Notification has the specific goal of rapid notification, which is especially important to slowing the spread of the disease with a virus that can be spread asymptomatically".

Health agencies in Germany as well as in the USA states of Alabama and SC have been waiting to use Apple and Google's new system while other governments claim that the tech giant's privacy restrictions make the system harder for public health workers to use.

That's probably why representatives from Apple and Google spent a good amount of time on the press call emphasizing that the tech companies are merely providing an "enabling" technology, and that it's the health agencies that will be building the apps and making the decisions on when and how to contact the exposed. The developers, Accenture, are working to build in Apple and Google's API for an update on 10 June to enable iPhone device holders use it effectively without having to bring the app on-screen. The technology is created to make these apps work better, the companies said. They also say they will continue to support the efforts of public health agencies around the world.

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