As Apple and Google work to build out a so-called "Exposure Notification" API and accompanying operating system-level assets to help monitor the spread of COVID-19, health experts argue the companies' overly stringent privacy policies will render the solution useless out of the gate.
Several European countries, including Switzerland and Germany, are demanding all user data generated by coronavirus contact tracing apps be stored on-device, rather than aggregated on a centralized server.
As world governments scramble to contain the spread of COVID-19, France and the UK this week announced plans to begin testing digital contact tracing solutions developed without the aid of Apple and Google's exposure notification system.
In the rough business climate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple has taken pride in going beyond "competent business as usual" to help. But the company and its trillion-dollar peers should now take the initiative to gather testing data that governments globally are failing to handle. Lives— and their profits— depend on it.
Germany has changed its stance on Apple and Google's work to create a contact tracing system for tracking and managing the spread of COVID-19, supporting a privacy-forward decentralized approach instead of using a centralized system.
Apple and Google have refined technical details surrounding the joint COVID-19 exposure notification effort, with the pair releasing not just a FAQ for consumers, but also updating cryptography, Bluetooth communications, and the API framework for developers.