As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in different major cities across the globe, the world needs all the help it can get from private corporations and individuals. Everyone has a role to play but some companies have the resources to make a huge difference. Yesterday, the world’s biggest tech giants Google and Apple announced a partnership that will allow them to contribute to the fight against Coronavirus. The new technology will alert individuals when they come in contact with infected individuals.
Both companies are already making plans to integrate alert systems in third-party apps that have contact-tracing features. In time, they will develop a contact-tracing system through Bluetooth signals instead of through a third-party application. This way, users will not need to download the third-party application before they can enjoy the contact tracing option. It will also keep participants anonymous. The technology will use the Bluetooth signals of an individual to establish if they stayed long enough with an infected person to be at risk of contagion. The owner of the phone will receive an alert as soon as the other person tests positive for Coronavirus.
In the statement released by both companies, the contact tracing method will not record any personal data or GPS information from your phone. This will encourage transparency, privacy and make sure that users give their consent before the app runs on their device. The privacy issues have raised concerns about the development of the system.
Donald Trump, the President of the United States, said that they will need time to consider the development of the software. During a press conference at the White House, he said that the idea is interesting but they need to consider the freedom of individuals. The world might be in crisis but people still have rights that need to be protected.