Tech giants Apple and Google have tied up to build a new technology that will alert people if they have recently come in contact with a person infected with coronavirus. Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing.
This contact tracing involves figuring out who an infected person has been in contact with and trying to prevent them from infecting others. Contact-tracing will available on Android 6.0 and above version, Marshmallow and Apple phone.
The Silicon Valley firms have claimed that the tracing tool will not record any users' GPS location or any personal information.
"Privacy, transparency and consent are of utmost importance in this effort and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders," Apple and Google said in a joint statement.
The contact-tracing system will be rolled out via update to Google Play services on Android smartphones.
According to Google's blogpost, the plan will be implemented in two steps:
First, in May, the companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.
Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This will allow more participation if they choose to opt-in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities.