Apple and Google Ban the Use of GPS Tracking in Contact Tracing Apps

The leading smartphone manufacturer of US Apple and Alphabet’s Google told that they would prohibit the use of GPS tracking in applications that utilizes a new contact tracing system. They are merged to help mitigate the spread of the novel COVID-19.

The companies Apple and Google, whose Operating Systems power 99% of smartphones, told last month they would work together to design a system for notifying the masses who have been in close proximity to those who have tested positive for Coronavirus. The firms plan to authorize only public health authorities to utilize this technology.

Apple and Google Ban the Use of GPS Tracking in Contact Tracing Apps

Both companies told that privacy and restricting governments from utilizing the system to collect data of citizens was the central goal. The system utilises Bluetooth signals from smartphones to detect encounters with the victims and does not use GPS location data.

On the contrary, the developers of official coronavirus-related applications in the many US states informed Reuters last month it was essential they be allowed to use GPS location data in combination with the new contact tracing system to trace how outbreaks move and recognise hotspots.

The Apple-Google judgment to not allow GPS data collection with their contact tracing system will need public health authorities that desire to access GPS location to depend on what the companies have defined as unstable, battery-draining workarounds.

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The alternatives possibly would miss few encounters because iPhones and Android smartphones turn off their Bluetooth connections after some time for saving the battery and other purposes until the users remember to re-activate the features.

However, a software company named Twenty, which designed the state of Utah’s Healthy Together contact tracing application with both GPS and Bluetooth, told that the app operates efficiently even without the new Apple-Google tool.

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