Google and Apple are going to track you in case you get COVID-19
One of the most effective methods we have to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to quickly identify close contacts of infected patients and get them screened as soon as possible. To help in that effort, Google and Apple will be introducing a joint effort to track your movement and identify people in close proximity to you via Bluetooth, so if anyone near you or you are positive for COVID-19, public health officials can quickly contact you or the people who were near you.
The API will be developed in a collaboration between Apple and Google, ensuring interoperability between Android and iOS devices. The API is scheduled for a May 2020 launch, with both companies releasing the API for use in apps from public health authorities. Apple and Google will further their efforts by building a Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform, which should bake the functionality directly into Android and iOS, allowing you to opt in for the contact tracing even without specific apps.
For those worried about your privacy, Google and Apple has promised that user privacy and security (are) central to the design. They also pledged the following:
Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders. We will openly publish information about our work for others to analyze.
Regardless of everyone’s distrust towards the government and the massive corporations, I do believe it is time to drop the tinfoil hats as COVID-19 isn’t going to go away by burning 5G towers. If you are still afraid, the contact tracing requires you to opt-in, so Google and Apple won’t be tracking you any more than they usually would if you decide to opt out of it.
Pokdepinion: The API should make it easier to contain any future pandemics, which would inevitably happen.