The system is now being referred to as an "Exposure Notification" technology and not "contact tracing" in an effort to more accurately describes the functionality, according to the two companies'. It can also be turned off by the user at any time. Today, Apple and Google have released an overview of changes they will make to the upcoming program to assuage those concerns.
Senior executives from Apple and Google said on Friday that they had jointly designed tools with the express goal of supporting decentralized contact-tracing apps they say provide the best privacy protection to users.
Guidance from the ACLU and European Union on contact tracing comes on the heels of an initiative by Google and Apple who partnered up to provide governments and health authorities with support on developing their own contact tracing apps.
To better address consumer and governmental concerns, the companies have changed numerous features of the technology.
Almost a dozen European Union countries have come up with their own apps, prompting the European Commission last week to come up with guidelines on data protection, privacy and technical for the contact tracing technology.
The companies reiterated an important point ... if an unidentified person confirms they have tested positive for Covid-19 into the system, they will be added to a positive diagnosis list so the system can notify the users that they have come into contact with. In the coming months, the technology will be embedded more deeply into the Apple and Google operating systems to be less reliant on apps.
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Hancock said an additional £22.5 million in funding will be made available for researchers at Imperial College, London .
Germany also called on Apple to support the app being developed by research group Fraunhofer HHI for the Robert Koch Institute, the federal agency that is coordinating the national health policy response to coronavirus.
This approach, which requires the second phase of the project to work, means smartphone owners can be alerted without telling health authorities that specific people have come into contact with infected individuals.
This system does not collect location data from your device, and does not share the identities of other users to each other, Google or Apple.
This new feature that Google is working on utilises Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Developers will also be able to specify distance and time to determine what constitutes Covid-19 exposure for their apps.
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