On Monday, Apple Inc. and Google answered questions regarding their forthcoming COVID-19 mobile contact-tracing solution, providing specifics of a collaboration that sparked concerns among some experts on privacy and cybersecurity.
The firms said the platform would allow users to search for an accurate diagnosis before bringing the information into the program. Public health organizations that develop mobile applications that work with the contact-tracing technology, Apple and Google said, will track the test results. It also protected the system’s privacy, reiterating that it does not disclose or store the names and locations of the users.
They revealed the collaboration on Friday. The technology is designed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus by informing users that after contact with an infected person they will quarantine or isolate themselves. Several researchers have since suggested the program may be vulnerable to spoofing, with people entering fake test results.
The companies also said on Monday that the device will record contact between people. This is when smartphone users are within a few feet of each other for up to 10 minutes. Bluetooth wireless technology has been noted by companies. It is to be able to detect devices from up to 15 feet away.
Apple Inc. and Google Under Application Building Stage
Apple and Google are in two stages building the application into their iOS and Android operating systems. They intend to add the ability for iPhones and Android phones to share anonymous information. It is wirelessly through apps operate by public health authorities by mid-May. They will incorporate the technology directly into their operating systems in the coming months, in order to attract more people.
A Google official states on Monday about the software introduction. This is to Android via a download in the Google Play store. Apple will be providing this in an upgrade to iOS apps. Apple said the goal is to make as many iPhones as possible, including older models, compliant with this.
Public health applications would only be able to access the feature, the companies said. This means other developers, for example, will not be able to create a mobile game using the data. This also means users would need to download an official app to get the results of the input check. Even, project phase two will send alerts to theoretically billions of iOS and Android users without an app.