April 10, Apple and Google announced a joint partnership to build a mobile COVID-19 contact search system. This system is voluntary, anonymous and interoperable between iOS and Android devices. April 28, Apple and Google free its contact tracking APIs for development by creators of approved applications.
To be clear, Apple and Google do not publish any contact finder apps. Instead, companies publish application programming interfaces (APIs) so that health authorities can generate their own applications or authorize application development for private companies. It sounds like a lot of extra work, but the APIs should (theoretically) prevent Google and Apple from exploiting our personal data and allow every world power (United States, EU, etc.) to participate in contact tracing without violating its regional rules. digital privacy laws.
But Apple and Google haven’t finished yet. APIs are just the first step in the contact search game plan. In the coming months, Apple and Google will develop a Bluetooth-based tracking platform integrated into mobile operating systems. The two companies stress that the contact tracing program is voluntary, anonymous and secure. in the join the white paper on contact tracing, Apple and Google say they will “openly post information about our work for others to review”, although it is unclear how companies plan to keep this promise.
The Apple and Google contact tracking platform is currently ahead of schedule. The companies initially planned that their APIs would be released in May, not in late April. At this rate, we should be preparing to see contract tracking applications in the next two months. Contact tracing is a major moment in the history of technology and a potential boon for the fight against COVID-19. And while Apple and Google’s commitment to privacy is reassuring, it’s up to governments to properly use contact finders.