Recently, there have been efforts by technology companies working alongside governments to deliver solutions that quickly identify people who might have been exposed to the Coronavirus. As the global fight against the virus continues, countries are exploring ways to get back to normal. We are beginning to see locations and businesses slowly re-open that are not deemed as ‘essential’, and thus see more people going outside. Beginning to re-open economies has its risks, and contact-tracing apps could potentially help reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
Reinventing Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is a slow process that relies on in-person interviews and detective work. Technology companies are developing quicker ways to obtain and analyse information through smartphone apps. These applications automate the process of retracing a person’s movements and analyse who they have come into contact with, enabling health services to contact those people as early as possible. Of course, there is some controversy with regards to privacy and trusting these companies with this data. Also, the efficiency of these apps has yet to be proven useful.
Collaborating Tech Giants
One thing this virus has bought is a wide-spread collaboration to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID‑19 and accelerate the return of everyday life. Apple and Google have recently announced that they are collaborating to create contact-tracing software. They aim to implement cryptographic functions that work in the backend of their operating systems to generate and process data. You can find more information here. It seems that Apple and Google are aware of privacy issues and the two companies have forbidden participants from gathering users’ location data, among other restrictions.
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