Apple and Google have made it public that two “early” versions of a contact tracing tool for the coronavirus will be launched this week for developer testing. Reports making the rounds early this month pointed to a collaboration between the two tech companies to come up with a technology to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Both companies boast a wide reach worldwide, powering about 99% of smartphones worldwide. This new contact tracing technology will let users know who they have had contact with that may possibly be infected.
Apple and Google plan to release the final version of this tool to the public sometime in May, presumably after successful testing by the select developers. Apple and Google suggest that new features would strengthen privacy protections of users, while providing health authorities with important data.
This technology will utilize Bluetooth technology that allows authorities build apps to notify users who may have come in contact with those who have tested positive for the coronavirus. This technology does not use GPS location data, while ensuring that sensitive data is kept in a decentralized manner in the user’s phone.
It is hoped that the developer testing goes smoothly, and this tracing tool can get up and running as soon as possible.