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Google and Apple Partner to Create a COVID Tracking App

Apr 13, 2020 12:00:00 PM

The tech giants, Google and Apple, have put their differences aside to focus on a singular task: COVID-19. The two are collaborating on an app that would allow a user to identify if they came in contact with someone with the coronavirus. While the app’s intent is pure, it has still received some backlash due to its potential for privacy violations.

Contact Tracing

This name is somewhat self explanatory. Contact tracing is, quite literally the tracing and tracking of who one has come into contact with. What is not self explanatory is the method behind it, or the manpower it actually requires. The purpose of contact tracing is to remove those who have been exposed to possible coronavirus from the general public to prevent further spread.

This has been, and will continue to be, a vital part of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. However, manual contact tracing can be incredibly labor intensive. On average, this process takes up to three days per new case. This simply is not feasible with the current resources available to us, until now.

The App

The API that is being created for both operating systems, iOS and Android, will allow public health authorities to release and access data from both platforms. The new app specifically will utilize the Bluetooth connection in every device to track and alert those who have come into contact with someone who either has been exposed to, or has, the coronavirus.

Public health authorities are planning a mid-May release date, but still have much to figure out. This includes troubleshooting. For example, they still need to find a way to promote the app and encourage downloads along with how to make digital contact tracing effective and efficient.

Privacy Concerns

Apps that are being developed to address the coronavirus should be transparent in their privacy policies. Further, safeguards should be put in place, ensuring that these government and private apps do not overreach or continue when they are unnecessary.

While we are living in an unprecedented time, it is good to see everyone, from ordinary people to large corporations, unite to help those in need. Here at AvantGuard, we are offering hybrid monitoring solutions designed specifically to help you and your business. For more information, feel free to reach out.

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