The coronavirus is taking a toll on the lives of people and the world is unable to take any major step against it.
In such an atrocious situation, even baby steps by tech giants of the world would be highly appreciable. Keeping the same in mind Apple and Google have joined hands to develop a COVID-19 tracking application. Apparently, the platform will go a long way in helping the world to curb the spread of lethal disease.
If the reports are to be believed, the tracking tool will be Bluetooth based that will inform people if they have come in contact with an infected patient. To make this work perfectly, the tech giants have also notified about the launch of application programming interfaces and operating system-level technology to assist the platform.
How Will The Application Work?
After the release of the application, it will be available on the App Store(iOS) and Play Store(Android) for download. Once downloaded, whenever 2 people will come in contact with each other, their mobile phones will exchange an identification code automatically. In case, anyone of them gets infected by the virus he will notify those with whom he has exchanged codes in the past 14 days through the application server. The application will then alert the other person and inform him of what he should do next, for instance- take the test or self-quarantine. This is called contact tracing. This will bring an end to the lockdown and allow people to move out of their homes.
The application is made to take care of the privacy of the user in the sense that it will not reveal the name of the infected person but will only alert others who have come in contact with him. Also, as per the claims, the tool will not collect location history. The application thus fulfills the dual concept of safety: privacy and health!
As stated the application will work with API which will be released for the phones through software updates. The sole purpose of the same is to all ensure platform independence, allowing to exchange data without any hindrance. The companies are collaborating for the same purpose basically, the applications will be then built by public authorities. Reportedly, the launch of the first update is due by May 15. Following this will be a second update that will allow the exchange of keys without any application. This is to ensure 24×7 tracing.
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Faults The Tool Might Possess
Inspite of the wonderful initiative by the tech giants, certain questions cross the mind of people. After all technology is not too perfect. Some of the slips might include; failed Bluetooth connection, wrong matches, inaccurate location data. Most importantly what happens to the tracing tool after the pandemic ends? What if people use it for malpractices later?
Even if the technical faults are kept aside, does everyone in developing countries possess smartphones? Does everyone has required know-how to install applications and register themselves? Will application reach to every part of the society?
Though there is no answer to these questions, the thought is highly appreciable. The technology will be of utmost use for the health and security officials who work to prevent the spread of the disease but end up in its grasp sadly. The need for such technological driven measures is important as well as urgent. After all what is the use of development by people, if not the lives of people?
What do you think of this initiative? Let us know in the comment section below!