Apple and Google launch their COVID-19 traceability system, 22 countries are already using it


Eduardo Arcos – May 20, 2020 – 19: 00 (CET)

Apple and Google today launch the API that allows health authorities around the world to develop their own apps for COVID contagion tracking – 19. 22 countries have already joined the initiative, including Spain.

Apple y Google lanzan su sistema de trazabilidad de COVID-19, 22 países ya lo están usando

Apple and Google announced the past 10 April who would join forces to develop a system to fight the coronavirus (COVID – 13) that would be integrated in iOS and Android .

The system has been in development for weeks and today the two multinationals finally activate the API . This is the necessary development tool so that public health authorities can start creating applications that use this exposure notification system.

The API is present in iOS 13. 5 released today. Android device users will receive it via an update of Google Play Services .

Representatives of Apple and Google explained that this is the result of weeks of conversations and discussions with representatives of dozens of countries, NGOs, academics, officials of government, and privacy experts. The system aims to be a support in the process of tracing contacts that can potentially be infected by exposure to other people with the virus.

Along with the public launch of the COVID Exposure Notifications API – 19, Apple and Google also announce that they are already working with 22 countries on 5 continents and several states within the United States that requested access. They hope they will join more in the coming weeks.

Spain is one of the countries that will use the API of Apple and Google for your own app.

COVID Exposure Notifications API Functional Keys – 19

Apple and Google ensure that the feedback phase was carried out with the aim of finding the best way to satisfy the needs to give necessary technological support to development of apps. This is without losing sight of the user's privacy, consent and control .

The authorities of each country will be able to determine what constitutes an exhibition event, aligning it with the criteria made by local experts. The number of COVID exposure events can also be defined – 19 based on different conditionals.

API sistema de notificaciones COVID-19 Bluetooth

Modifications were also made for the user's privacy, including the generation of exposure keys, which are now generated completely randomly . They are no longer derived from a tracking key.

Thus it is much more difficult to decipher how the keys are generated and avoid the individual tracking of people . In addition, all the metadata associated with the Bluetooth station have been encrypted, such as the transmission power of the device so that there is no way to identify it.

Principles for the development of the apps of each country

Google and Apple have communicated a series of principles to which those responsible for the development of apps in each country must adhere. Among the most important points are:

  • The app must request express authorization from the user before sharing that they have tested positive for COVID – 19. The same with any other data that is transmitted to the local authorities.
  • The apps must collect the minimum necessary. It can only be used for initiatives developed to combat the coronavirus.
  • Apps will be prohibited from accessing location services (such as GPS).
  • The use of the API will be limited to one per country. The aim is to avoid fragmentation and thus encourage the popularization and adoption of a single app.
  • Regarding the previous point, it is taken into account that a country develops several apps by state or autonomous community.

👇 More in Hypertextual

  • Spain will use the system of Apple and Google to trace contacts with people infected with coronavirus
  • The European Union believes that the use of tracking applications should not be required
  • The Apple and Google coronavirus contact tracking system already has a start date