Apple and Google have joined forces to launched a system that could help track the spreading of the coronavirus.
The system uses Bluetooth Low Energy transmissions and has already been approved by several health associations.
Health authorities would then be able to a access the data which includes COVID-19 diagnoses from people volunteering the information. This then alerts any users of phones who were within proximity of that person.
By mid-May Google and Apple plan to release iOS and Android APIs to help health authorities implement the system.
Contact tracing has been touted as an important strategy in combating the spread of the virus and ensuring the more people self-isolate as soon as they show symptoms.
But compared to GPS data, Bluetooth doesn’t track a user’s physical location which may delight data security experts and users concerned over privacy.
In addition, users cannot be easily identified even after they share their data.
It remains to be seen if the system can be of value to authorities and users.