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Apple, Google Release Coronavirus-tracing Smartphone Technology

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Apple and Google joined together to release a smartphone technology that will automatically notify users regarding the possible exposure to the coronavirus or Covid-19.

Access to the technology will be granted only to public health authorities, who can incorporate it into their own apps that people install, for contact tracing.

It was on April 10 that both companies announced a joint effort to enable the use of wireless Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of COVID-19 through contact tracing.

The Exposure Notifications technology is now available to public health agencies on both iOS and Android in service of privacy-preserving contact tracing.

Conventional contact tracing is a technique used by public health authorities to measure and slow the spread of infectious diseases, by manually gathering information from infected individuals about the people they've previously been in contact with.

According to the companies, mobile devices can be used to help determine who has been exposed to a person that later reports a positive diagnosis of COVID-19. The new automatic exposure notification system can augment the process of contact tracing with rapid notification and slow the spread of COVID-19.

User privacy and security would be central to the design. User identity will not be shared with other users, Apple and Google as part of this process.

Apple and Google noted that their Exposure Notifications technology will enable apps created by public health agencies to work more accurately, reliably and effectively across both Android phones and iPhones.

The companies said, "Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments, and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life."

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