27 May 2020

At least 22 countries had requested access to the Exposure Notification API launched by Google and Apple

It has been a week since Google and Apple launched the Exposure Notification API (application programming interface) to notify the proximity of people infected by the COVID-19 virus.

In recent days, 22 countries have announced that they will use this API to contain further spread of the pandemic. The first country to release an App using this API was Switzerland which Government launched “SwissCovid” that is already available to select essential workers.

“One of the most effective techniques that public health officials have used during outbreaks is called contact tracing. Through this approach, public health officials contact, test, treat and advise people who may have been exposed to an affected person. One new element of contact tracing is Exposure Notifications: using privacy-preserving digital technology to tell someone they may have been exposed to the virus. Exposure Notification has the specific goal of rapid notification, which is especially important to slowing the spread of the disease with a virus that can be spread asymptomatically”, said Google and Apple in a joint statement published on 20th May.

Firstly, these two companies pursue to “build Exposure Notifications technology that will enable apps created by public health agencies to work more accurately, reliably and effectively across both Android phones and iPhones”.

Secondly, Google y Apple will work jointly to “enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms”.

This innovative project has always ensured the privacy and protection of personal data: “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”, both companies said in a joint statement posted on 10th May.

“Today, this technology is in the hands of public health agencies across the world who will take the lead and we will continue to support their efforts”, determined both companies in the statement posted one week ago. 

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