Proclamation Apple and Google join forces in an unprecedented way to combat the coronavirus there has been no debate, which forced the two companies to provide more details and make some changes.
For those of you who are not familiar with the news, Apple and Google announced a few days ago an agreement in which both companies and their related platforms, accounting for 99% of the global market, was developing a system that would allow people to follow up with people throughout the day so that if any of them were or we ourselves entered by COVID-19 a notification will be sent to all contacts that had them in the last days. Both companies insisted that privacy would always be guaranteed, but they could not avoid the doubts of European and American authorities, in addition to releasing fake news that even some major circulation media meant.
This system uses Bluetooth communication for our devices, whether it is Android or iOS devices, which is why the need for both companies to agree. The distance between devices will be used to know the distance between the people they carry, and this is not known for the power of Bluetooth connectivity developed between them. In addition, time spent with the other person will also be taken into account. Other details such as whether our iPhone is connected to a car can be used to prevent false alarms, because we encounter an infected person in our car parked in the sky, without the risk of infection.
Both companies have changed some of the way the system works, such as encryption used. The information is encrypted so that no one will have access to it even if it is made with the tool, and instead of the HMAC encryption they originally showed, will eventually use AES encryption, which reportedly works best on all devices. Buttons for this encryption will be generated indefinitely and temporarily, so the difficulty of getting these buttons will be relieved through back-up engineering.
The program will keep all your contact details for 14 days, and in the case where someone is registered to have confidence in COVID-19, they will stop collecting their personal information, because that person must be independent. Users can delete information stored on their devices at any time, remember that it will be their voluntary engagement program and the user can stop participating whenever they want.
The program will download once on the date listed on COVID-19, the information will be managed by the parties involved, and will compare itself to the contacts registered on our device. This test will be performed on our device, not on any "cloud". Once the exclusion list is checked, if any contacts are listed correctly, we will be notified immediately, and we will be given instructions on how to proceed.
In the first phase Apple and Google will provide APIs for developers, and we will need to install the operating system for it to work. This will take place throughout the month of May. A second phase is planned there the whole program is installed on the device itself, without the need to install any app, but the user needs to know who is doing the work, it will not be an automatic operation. Apple and Google want it highlight some important points to make sure privacy is guaranteed and that it would be entirely voluntary.
- Users will have to turn on the functionality on their devices
- They can do it at any time without giving a reason
- Location details not collected
- User ID is not shared
- Our Bluetooth identity is changed every 10 to 20 minutes so they don't follow us
- Disclosure notifications are performed on our devices, are not uploaded to any cloud or shared
- Apple and Google may shut down the system in the region when it is no longer needed
- Only public health organizations can access this program