Apple and Google have announced that they will work together on a Bluetooth that will work perfectly between Android and iOS devices. The two companies have the two most popular mobile operating systems in the world and their move to an interoperable Bluetooth is likely to provoke mixed reactions.
"Initially in May, both companies will release APIs that will allow Bluetooth interoperability between Android and iOS devices, developing applications for public health principles. "These official applications will be available to users for download through the respective app Stores", the statement states.
Apple and Google plan to create a Bluetooth monitoring platform that will allow users to participate and share their tracking history with the various government health authorities that monitor its spread coronavirus.
Both companies had to answer questions from U.S. Senators in recent days. concerning location data for COVID-19 and data collection practices. Proximity tracking apps could go a long way in automating contact detection, which could be vital to getting back to normal life and business in the coming weeks.
"Through close cooperation with developers, governments and public health services, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow down the spread of COVID 19 and accelerate the return of everyday life," the joint statement said. statement.
In terms of security, a draft documentation of the Bluetooth technology and cryptology to be used has been published. The draft states that the contact detection method will use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and a 32-byte tracking key, cryptographically protected code, to record contact between devices.
Proponents of privacy in favor of decentralized Bluetooth surveillance from smartphones call it one of the most up-to-date contact methods available today.
ACLU and cybersecurity lawyer Jennifer Granick said the effectiveness of contact detection applications should depend on trust and voluntary use, and that there should be no central repository of user data.
"Apple and Google have announced an approach that seems to mitigate the worst risks to privacy and data collection, but there seems to be room for improvement. "We will continue to monitor to ensure that the detection application remains voluntary and decentralized and will only be used for public health purposes and only during this pandemic," Granick told VentureBeat.