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Apple & Google’s Exposure Notification Technology for COVID-19 is ready for use


Apple and Google have both partnered together to come up with a COVID-tracing software. And the good news is that the technology is already available. 

The way it works is to send an alert to a user who may have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient. The technology makes use of contact tracing, which health authorities are also using to trace individuals who may have been exposed to someone infected by the virus. Through this effort, governments are hopeful that they are able to contain infections. This way, people don’t have to rely on their memory to recall their whereabouts.

With Apple and Google’s technology, they hope to slow down the spread of the virus. It is extremely helpful to identity asymptomatic individuals who are making contact with other people. In doing so, individuals can be alerted once they have contacted the virus. 

The technology makes use of Bluetooth and requires opting in. For those who allow the technology to operate on their device, it will run a random broadcast that frequently changes keys. When someone tests positive for the virus, their device will send out a notification to others it has encountered. Their owners will get an alert that they were in contact with a person who tested positive for the virus. They can then decide to get themselves tested and go into quarantine so they no longer have to worry about infecting other people.

The exposure notification technology that Apple and Google built together is already available to health authorities. They can use the technology to build their own apps that will be compatible across iOS and Android devices. To protect the privacy of the users, the two tech companies do not use GPS. But once the pandemic is over, Apple and Google promises that the tech will be disabled. 

So far, the ones interested in using the tech to build their own apps include Germany, Alabama, North Dakota, and South Carolina. France and the UK are having doubts about using the API.