Apple, Google Team on Coronavirus Tracking – Sparking Privacy Fears
Apple and Google have announced that they are teaming up to launch new COVID-19 tracking technology. Despite claims that privacy and security are important, many experts have expressed concerns around the new tech. The collaboration aims to trace the spread of the coronavirus through iOS and Android apps. The apps will use decentralized Bluetooth technology in smartphones to track whether users have been close to someone COVID-19 positive, also known as contact tracing.
A person who tests positive for COVID-19 can consent to upload his or her broadcast beacons to the cloud for the past 14 days, voluntarily exposing their movement history to other users, who will be notified if they were in contact with the infected individual. Users are assigned an anonymous identifier beacon, which is transmitted to other nearby devices via Bluetooth. Thus, the beacons can identify users who have been in contact for a certain period of time.