Apple and Google: tracking the epidemic with Bluetooth, covering 3 billion mobile phone users around the world

Time:2020-12-5

Apple and Google: tracking the epidemic with Bluetooth, covering 3 billion mobile phone users around the world

Wang Zizhi, editor of sanatorium
SegmentFault has he reported the official account number: SegmentFault


Novel coronavirus pneumonia has been announced by apple and Google to cooperate with each other to add contact tracing function to their mobile phone systems. Once users reach the new crown pneumonia patients, they will be alerted to enable users to isolate themselves and avoid the spread of the new crown disease, according to foreign media reports.

Monitoring via Bluetooth

Apple and Google announced that they will add the Bluetooth based feature to IOS and Android operating systems in two steps.

The first step will come as soon as mid May. Apple and Google will synchronize with the data released by health departments of various countries through app, and authorize public health app to use the data.

If users of iPhones or Android phones test positive for new coronavirus, this information will be entered into public health apps, and other users will be warned when they come into close contact with them. The warning period is 14 days, and local health departments can adjust the number of days according to local policies.

Apple and Google: tracking the epidemic with Bluetooth, covering 3 billion mobile phone users around the world

The implementation of the second step will take several months. Apple and Google will directly add “contact tracking” to Android and IOS systems without requiring users to download separate apps. More users will be included in the “tracking” list, with the ultimate goal of covering about 3 billion users of Apple iPhone and Google Android phones.

American netizens: more worried about personal privacy and human rights violations

Apple and Google: tracking the epidemic with Bluetooth, covering 3 billion mobile phone users around the world

It’s certainly a good thing, but for Americans who pay great attention to personal privacy and human rights, they are more worried about whether their personal information and rights will be violated.

According to the white paper of the project, if the test results are positive, the system will upload the anonymous “key” of the user in the last 14 days to the server by default. Other people’s phones automatically download the list of keys and receive an exposure notification if they have a matching key in their history.

But in this regard, both apple and Google stressed that they would protect users’ privacy, not collect users’ location data, and would not disclose the personal information of sick users, and the two companies would not directly see such information. Users can turn off this feature if necessary.

According to the white paper, the two companies have indicated that they are ready to establish a contact tracking network on the premise of users’ willingness. At that time, only officials from the public health department can access the data, and the confirmers can also take the initiative to report.


“There is no more pressing moment for cooperation in the world. “Apple and Google said in a joint statement.

In recent years, many technology giants are frequently censored by regulatory authorities and questioned by users due to excessive competition, privacy leakage, and ineffective supervision. This time, however, apple and Google are trying to use technology to protect public privacy while abandoning industry competition to unite forces for the benefit of society. In any case, it is commendable and encouraging.

Apple and Google: tracking the epidemic with Bluetooth, covering 3 billion mobile phone users around the world

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