The two giant companies in Silicon Valley announced that they would work on a platform to enable communication tracking, a measure that identifies people who have been exposed to the virus and who it communicates with, the two companies announced on Friday.
The two companies will first release platforms based on pre-existing public health apps in May that run on Android and iOS operating systems, followed by the launch of a more comprehensive platform in the coming months that enables users to subscribe to them.
A smartphone user whose positive virus scan appears can enter its result in an application from the Public Health Authority, to send the result afterwards in an anonymous way to anyone who communicates with him or is close to the infected person, if he has also activated the service.
Authorities around the world have identified tracking contact as one of the main solutions to stem the rapid spread of the Corona virus, as many governments worldwide, including Israel, Thailand and Hong Kong, use technology to track virus exposure and quarantine.
Privacy advocates and experts around the world have noted concerns about the technologies that track communication, saying they can be used as a monitoring tool once the epidemic is over, while some experts have expressed doubts about the effectiveness of Bluetooth contact tracking.
US President Donald Trump also addressed privacy concerns when asked about the Apple and Google partnership at a news conference on Friday, where he said the technology is “very new and interesting, but, a lot of people are concerned about it in terms of individual freedom. We’ll look at that.”
Apple and Google, two fierce competitors in the world’s most popular mobile operating system, said that the topic of privacy will be central to efforts to track contacts in light of the spread of the virus, adding that users will have to provide explicit consent to operate the platform, and no collection will be made. Information that can be used to identify individual users.