- Apple and Google are working together on a digital contact tracing system that would use Bluetooth technology to alert users when they’ve been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19.
- The system is opt-in only, meaning users must give their explicit consent and choose to participate in the program.
- Apple and Google are giving public health authorities access to its APIs so that smartphone owners will eventually be able to use the system without downloading an app.
- Both companies say the system was designed with privacy in mind.
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In a rare move, Apple and Google will partner on a new technology intended to curb the coronavirus’ spread, the companies announced on Friday.
The tech giants are creating a digital contact tracing system powered by a network of smartphones to better help the public understand when they may have been exposed to the virus. The system will enable both iPhones and Android devices to anonymously broadcast signals to other nearby devices using Bluetooth and scan for beacons from other phones in proximity.
Through this technology, Apple and Google aim to implement a system that would make it so that your smartphone can notify you if you’ve recently been in contact with a potentially contagious person, while trying to avoid compromising user privacy.
Here’s a closer look at everything we know about Apple and Google’s contact tracing system so far.