Due to the widespread of COVID-19, Apple and Google came together last month. They said that they would work on building a contact tracing app which will help people in identifying if they came across a person who was infected by coronavirus. This is a good move by the tech giants as 99% smartphones in the world run on Android or iOS, both of which Google and Apple run. But recently, Apple and Google said that they are not going to allow GPS tracking in the contact tracing system they have built.
Customers Privacy the Most Important Goal
Both Apple and Google want their customers privacy to remain secured, as per a report by Reuters. That is why they are not going to allow the use and storage of GPS location data of a user. The companies have planned only to allow public health authorities to use their system. Apple and Google don’t want their customers data is being collected and stored by the Governments. Customers privacy is the primary goal of both the tech giants.
Alternatives That Can Be Sought
Since Apple and Google have removed the aspect of using GPS tracking, the public health authorities will have to seek an alternative which both the companies define as unstable and battery draining. One of the favoured options is using the Bluetooth technology, but there is an issue here as well. Most of the Androids and iPhones turn off Bluetooth in their device automatically after sometime when not in use to save battery. This would mean that many encounters would not be notified if the Bluetooth is switched off. So users would continuously reactivate Bluetooth in their devices.
At the same time, developers of an official coronavirus-related app asked the government to be allowed the use of GPS location tracking. They need to use it for identifying and notifying people when they come in close range with a coronavirus-infected person. Apple and Google have said that they are only going to allow only one app in a respective country to use their contact tracing system.