Of course you have heard about coronavirus tracking apps, that is, mobile apps that can alert you when you are close to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
It makes sense that you're concerned about the role these apps will play in protecting your privacy, or if you will have to give up in order to benefit from that tracking. Explain all your doubts in this article, including where you can download such an app from your mobile phone.
What is Apple doing to help track COVID-19?
One of Apple's steps is to help to fight the coronavirus It has been amazing for some, to partner with Google to develop COVID-19 tracking technology.
The communication system for these symptoms can be used in programs that will follow up on those people who have been tested for coronavirus contacts.
The application interface (API) produced by Apple and Google will be available to governments and public health authorities who are specifically trying to develop COVID-19 tracking applications.
The solution suggested by Apple and Google is using Blue. Mobiles emit high quality Bluetooth signals, and when paired with another cell phone, there is a "handshake". The same is true when Apple tracks your iPhone using the Search app.
On May 4, Google released more details about its app. In fact, the company has released a version of its notification API API through Github.
On the other hand, the Apple Release Notifications API (and its configuration) is now available to developers and those who want to try out the public beta types. Most likely, it will arrive very soon on your iPhone with iOS 13.5.
This does not mean that the COVID-19 tracking application will appear on your device at one time or another, nor does it mean that public health authorities and programs will use these APIs.
Both Apple and Google have certain limitations in place that limit the applications that can use their APIs and the data they can collect. That should protect users' privacy.
How will they make sure your privacy is protected?
His the April 10 statementApple stressed that its two-step plan (the first in May and the second in the coming months) will implement the solution "always maintaining strict measures to protect user privacy."
Therefore, the most stringent rules apply: only legitimate apps produced by or by health authorities (with privacy, security and data protection requirements) will be able to use this information. Google and Apple will not have access to this data.
There are certain restrictions regarding data protection that developers should be aware of:
- The user must give their consent and no personal data can be requested.
- The user should be able to uninstall the app and disable notifications.
- Collection of information related to the user's religion, age, sexual orientation or other social group is not permitted.
- There are limits when managing the information collected through Bluetooth. This should stay on the device; Only the diagnostic password is accessible by the application.
- Additional information such as device IDs cannot be requested; Only information related to the purposes of the application may be collected.
- Third-party services cannot be integrated, such as analysis.
Apple confirms that Apple will close the program when its use is no longer needed (understandable when the COVID-19 tracking application is no longer needed). This can be done by region and not worldwide at the same time.
Apps that use Google and Apple APIs should include details on the next steps to follow when they detect that a user has contacted an infected person.
How will Apple and Google know if you've been exposed to a coronavirus?
It looks like the deciding factor is whether or not a user has been exposed to a coronavirus near the time they contacted someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Health authorities can fix this limited time, but in order for the app to record a contact, the user will need to be in someone's Bluetooth range for at least five minutes.
The app will also be able to record distance. The signal strength of that Bluetooth connection can be measured: the stronger you are, the shorter the distance. Obviously, this distance will be the only measurement.
In terms of data protection, Apple and Google have established the highest requirements that users can meet. However, health authorities will have to approve these restrictions.
Is there a COVID-19 tracking application in Spain?
At present, there is no application to follow COVID-19 in Spain. The only official apps available are those that allow the user to preview their symptoms to know if they have a coronavirus or not.