The world is having a time now due to the coronavirus epidemic. This has hit hard every industry in the world including the tech industry. Many tech Giants have come forward to help people during this crisis. Meanwhile, Apple and Google, one of the biggest tech companies in the world have teamed up to fight this virus.
APPLE AND GOOGLE TEAM UP
Apple and Google have said that they were building a software together. This software would tell notify people if they recently came into contact with someone infected with the virus. The Giants have said that the tool will be released within several months. It will be embedded into billions of iPhone and Android devices worldwide.
“CONTACT TRACING” TECHNOLOGY
This software will use a technology that is known as “contact tracing”. Once the software is activated, the smartphones will constantly log the other devices they come nearby. If they came into contact with someone who is infected with the virus, they will be notified.
The people who become infected will need to notify to a public health app they have on their phone. So, the tech Giants also need to make the health authorities agree to link their apps to the tool. Trump administration has already shown interest in the technology. Trump has even cited it as a very very new technology.
There already exist such third party contract tracing apps. Singapore also introduced something similar called the ‘TraceTogether‘ app. This app also used the same contact tracing technology. But the problem with the third-party apps is that they are constantly closed by the power-saving apps on smartphones. But in order to work effectively, they need to be activated 24/7. That’s why software embedded in the system itself will be of great help.
Although this technology seems to be very useful to fight the virus, the major concern lies with user privacy. Google has previously come under radar many times for exploiting user’s privacy for their own benefit. So, Google and Apple are also considering the privacy of users. They are said to be discussing about how much of info to include in these alerts. This is being done in order to strike a balance between privacy and usability of the service.
This is a rare partnership between arch-rivals Google and Apple who are generally more busy at throwing fireballs at each . This signifies the seriousness of this current global crisis. Hopefully, this venture will make a significant contribution to our fight against this virus.
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source: New York Times