Tuesday, 02 June, 2020

COVID-19 Tracker Is Now Available On Android Phones Via Google Play

EU Says Coronavirus Tracking Apps Should Avoid Storing Data on Servers COVID-19 Tracker Is Now Available On Android Phones Via Google Play
Cecil Davis | 23 May, 2020, 02:39

According to the Financial Times, the EU's digital agency DG Connect will assess potential risks to privacy before Apple and Google's system can be introduced there.

Apple and Google are no strangers to Brussels' ire, with the bloc often accusing the companies of abusing their power. Google Play was the medium used to provide the tracker because it is the only reliable system developed for getting software updates to an individual's Android phone promptly. However, still keeping in mind the privacy and security of its users.

European Union countries using mobile phone apps to help contain the spread of the coronavirus have been warned the technology must not breach the bloc's rules on data and privacy.

Contact tracing has been considered a valuable tool by public health officials, especially to help contain the spread of this disease. The EU will "seek clarifications on the solution proposed by Google and Apple", the European Commission said on Thursday.

It includes operating-system-level technology as well as application programming interfaces (APIs).

The document recommended a decentralised approach to storing data, which it compared with the methods used in many Asian countries, where most data is kept on a centralised server.

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Contact-tracing works by tracking a user's Bluetooth signals on their mobile. Users can then check their own logs in opposition to others anonymously. If that individual is diagnosed with a virus, all the people they've been in contact with are notified to isolate themselves and limit any further spread.

An illustration of how and when users will receive a notification from the system. It also sends directions regarding what to do next.

The capability is set to be built across billions of Android and iOS devices, and now, Google has provided insight into how that's going to happen, at least on its side.

To help Huawei's customers and all others who are using Android in China, Google will be releasing a framework, which leading Chinese manufacturers can use to create a similar tracing system.

Also, in the coming months, both the company plans to enable a more comprehensive Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform.

And again, transparency, privacy, and consent remain the most crucial factor while trying to save the world.