Google and Apple are moving forward with the next stage of the plan for their coronavirus “Exposure Notification” API. Here’s how it’ll work:
📱API developers in each region, working on behalf of relevant governments, will be able to build their own apps that will allow Android and iOS devices to communicate with each other via Bluetooth.
📱Users will download an app from their regional health authority, and will be asked to turn on notifications.
📱If you test positive for COVID-19, you can share that in the app, but you can only create an alert via a code provided by health officials in the instance of a positive test.
📱You’ll also be eligible for alerts if someone you’ve been near tests positive.
📱The system tracks data through “anonymous identifiers” so no personal information is exchanged in the process. Your device will have a log of other devices that it’s been in contact with, but no one else has the same information access.
📱Eventually, you won’t even need a separate app, as it will be built into the back-end process on your device.
📱This will make contact tracing much more effective, but it’ll also mean that there’s a system that can trace all devices at all times – effective during a pandemic, but potentially a concern at all other times.