Apple, Google update coronavirus tracking API to increase privacy

Google is updating its COVID-19 contact-tracing framework, developed in partnership with Apple, to accommodate user privacy concerns, according to a July 31 company blog post.

The tech giants' Exposure Notification System application programming interface allows public health officials to build their own contact tracing apps that are interoperable with Google's Android and Apple's iOS software.

To address users' concerns that Android device's location settings have to be turned on for the Exposure Notification app to work, Google is now working to update the system so that users can use Exposure Notification apps without having to turn on their location settings. The update will be available once Android 11 launches later this year.

Google said that ENS uses Bluetooth, not location, data from a user's device to detect when two devices are in close proximity while maintaining privacy of both devices locations.


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