Google & Apple Tackle COVID-19 Together

Jointly Developing Contact Tracing Technology

Source: Smart phone stock images


Purpose: Slow the Spread of COVID-19
This is a very rare, global tech collaboration. 
Google and Apple power 99% of the world's 
smartphones. They've joined forces to develop
contact tracing technologies to stop
the spread of the coronavirus.
They are using their smartphone platforms
to do this.  They just made the announcement.

Potential: To Help 1/3 of World's Population
The importance of this new use of smartphone tech
is massive.  Experts say it has the potential to
monitor the conornavirus spread and help 
about one-third of the world's population through
smart information. That amounts to 3 billion 
people being monitored and helped.

Phone User Privacy
Google and Apple say their plan protects user privacy.
It's a phone user opt-in system to get an
alert if you and your phone have been in
close contact with someone who has COVID-
19 and their phone.  Specifically, it means if a
user of the system tests positive and adds
the data to their public health app, anyone
in contact will be notified. The purpose is to 
red-alert phone users that they've been
in contact with the coronavirus so that they
can be tested, treated and take appropriate
precautions to prevent the spread.

On a Fast Track
This new technology will be available by
mid-May.  Two weeks ago, Google & Apple started 
developing tech to allow mobile devices to 
send information via Bluetooth to alert users
that they've been in contact with COVID-19.
In May the program will rollout as software
tools to contact tracing apps endorsed by
public health officials, along with Apple &
Google approving use of the tools. The 
companies will build it out from there.

Privacy & Secureacy Protections
Apple and Google say the technology won't
identify the infected person, their phone or their
location to the other phone users who have
been in their proximity.  It is designed to 
just capture data when you and your phone have
been near an infected COVID 19 person's 
phone.  This is expected to accelerate the use
of apps that help get potentially infected people
tested and if necessary treated & quarantined
more quickly.  It's also expected to provide
more reliability in terms of digital contact
tracing worldwide.

Supporting Life After Lockdowns
This is a big move forward.  It paves the
way for digital contact tracing apps developed
by MIT and others.  They have been
struggling to make their apps work 
across competing operating systems.
Health experts say contact tracing &
measures to stop the spread of the
disease are needed to ensure that COVID-19
doesn't surge back when the lockdowns
and shelter in place directives are lifted.

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