Google and Apple Launch an Updated Framework for COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps

Google and Apple Launch an Updated Framework for COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps

Tech companies have been finding ways to make COVID-19 contact tracing easier via dedicated apps while also treading lightly on the privacy aspect. Mobile giants Google and Apple have been at the forefront of developing contact tracing apps, though it hasn’t received unanimous approval from countries across the world, mostly due to privacy-related concerns.

With this in mind, Google and Apple have now released a new software framework that will help countries/states develop their own contact tracing apps. This will also make it easier for the authorities to make changes to the existing framework of their apps instead of building a new app from scratch.

It’s worth mentioning that existing contact tracing apps (such as Aarogya Setu) will not go through any changes as a result of this new framework announced by Apple and Google.

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A joint statement put out by Apple and Google read - “As the next step in our work with public health authorities on Exposure Notifications, we are making it easier and faster for them to use the Exposure Notifications System without the need for them to build and maintain an app.”

“Exposure Notifications Express provides another option for public health authorities to supplement their existing contact tracing operations with technology without compromising on the project's core tenets of user privacy and security,” the statement added.

Though considered industry rivals, Apple and Google have joined forces in their efforts to launch a viable contact tracing solution for COVID-19. Allowing governments and local bodies to implement these new features will no doubt make it easier for the existing lot of state and centrally operated COVID-19 apps.

Apple will include the new framework with the iOS 13.7 update which has already started rolling out to the users, while Google will enable this feature to all devices running Android 6.0 or higher.

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