Apple and Google have announced that they have developed a voluntary coronavirus tracking system for iOS and Android operating systems. With the new applications, users will be able to share data via Bluetooth Low Energy.
Technology giants are also taking important steps in the fight against coronavirus. Finally, Apple and Google announced that they have developed the COVID-19 tracking system for iOS and Andorid operating systems. The new systems will allow users to share data through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and apps approved by healthcare organizations.
The new system will use short-distance Bluetooth communication to create a voluntary contact tracking network. Thus, data on phones that are close to each other will be used together. Official applications of public health officials will be able to access this data and users who download this application will be able to report it when they are diagnosed with COVID-19. The system will also alert the user if he or she is in close contact with an infected person.
It will be used in mid-May:
It is stated that Apple and Google will circulate iOS and Android APIs in mid-May and public health apps can use them. At this stage, users will have to download an application to participate in contact tracking, and this is thought to limit the adoption of the system. In the months following the API’s completion, the two companies will begin working on a tracking system feature that runs in the background of the operating system. So anyone with an iOS or Android phone will be able to use this feature.
Contact tracking is claimed to be one of the most promising solutions for controlling COVID-19. In this follow-up, it is attempted to identify who or who is infected with coronavirus, and to prevent new contacts, but the use of digital surveillance technologies raises both privacy and effectiveness problems. Non-governmental organizations in the USA are expressing their concerns about following users with telephone data.
Unlike methods such as using GPS data, it is emphasized that the Bluetooth plan does not track the physical location of people. This system basically receives signals from other nearby phones and stores their connections in a database. If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, that person will notify the application of this, and the phone near the person will receive a warning about the situation.
The system also ensures that the identity of the users is hidden. When sending information over Bluetooth, the app broadcasts an anonymous key instead of a static key, and these keys cycle every 15 minutes to protect privacy. However, the system is still considered to have some weaknesses. For example, although COVID-19 does not share the same environment with a person who has been diagnosed, a person may accidentally receive a warning.
Again, this system may not detect differences in how much someone has been exposed to a possible virus encounter. The system may not be effective in areas where connections are problematic. In any case, the new system is not expected to replace the old tracking methods.