Apple, Google join forces to support the fight against Covid-19
Share article:
Share article:

Apple, Google join forces to support the fight against Covid-19

© Belga

Technology giants Apple and Google on Friday announced a “joint effort” aimed at using Bluetooth technology to help efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) by facilitating contact tracing while respecting individuals’ right to privacy.

“Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread,” the two companies said in a press release.

Leading public health authorities, universities and NGOs around the world have been working to develop voluntary contact tracing technology, according to the two technology giants.

“To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing,” they said.

Related News

 

Given the urgency of the situation, this solution will be implemented in two steps, they explained. In May, Apple and Google will publish the APIs that enable interoperability between Android and IOS devices using applications from public health authorities. People will be able to download these official applications from the app stores on their telephones.

“In the months to come”, Apple and Google will work on the second step – developing a broader contact tracing platform based on Bluetooth. “ This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt-in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities,” the companies explained.

The two technology giants stressed that “privacy, transparency and consent are of utmost importance in this effort,” adding that the functionality will be developed “in consultation with interested stakeholders.”

“Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life,” Apple and Google concluded.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...