Apr 24, 2020

Apple and Google accelerate coronavirus contact tracing apps plan

In a blog published earlier, NHSX, the digital wing of the NHS, confirmed it was "Working with Apple and Google" on its UK contact tracing app, but stopped short of committing itself to the companies' framework. Contact-tracing apps are based on the principle that people's smartphones can be used to log when two people are in close enough proximity for long enough that there's a high risk of contagion if one of them has the coronavirus. By combining the use of such apps with other measures - including manual contact tracing by humans and frequent handwashing - the hope is that the spread of the disease can be slowed or suppressed. Apple places restrictions on third-party apps' use of Bluetooth, which it is only dropping if the authorities adopt its scheme. "[This] is why I think all the contact tracing apps should be using the system level tools Apple and Google are rolling out.

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