Apple and Google, the 2 tech giants have collaborated to win the battle against COVID-19. they’re releasing contact tracing technology to assist public health organizations to develop mobile apps which will identify and test people who’ve been near someone infected with the coronavirus.
Contact tracing is “a key strategy for preventing further spread of COVID-19,” as emphasized by WHO.
But the rapid spread of COVID-19 means traditional tracing methods are often too slow. Even with the simplest of reporting, data accuracy depends on the memory of these being interviewed, which may be incomplete.
With the assistance of Bluetooth technology, the app will notify the users who are within the vicinity of COVID infected persons for a minimum of 5 minutes anonymously.
But participation is voluntary. Apple and Google say they’ve taken precautions to form sure tracking data is anonymous and that they say apps won’t be permitted to trace your specific location.
“User adoption is vital to success and that we believe that these strong privacy protections also are the simplest thanks to encouraging the utilization of those apps,” Apple and Google said during a statement. “Each user gets to make a decision whether or to not opt-in to exposure notifications; the system doesn’t collect or use the situation from the device; and if an individual is diagnosed with Covid-19, it’s up to them whether or to not report that within the public health app.”
Since the app collects and uploads information automatically, digital contact tracing proponents say it’ll be faster and more efficient. According to experts, apps could “replace a week’s worth of manual contact tracing with instantaneous signals and reduce the time taken to trace contacts significantly.”
Nearly 3 in 5 Americans said they might be unwilling or unable to use Google and Apple’s contact tracing technology, consistent with a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll thanks to privacy concerns. Effectiveness of smartphone contact tracing depends on what percentage people prefer to use it. It remains to be seen how critical is going to be this technology in curbing the spread of COVID-19,