Apple, Google ban use of location tracking in COVID-19 contact tracing apps

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Apple Inc More on this subject from Business TodayFeatured Advertisement Apple launching COVID-19 screening software, website Apple launches software, COVID-19 screening website Coronavirus effect: Google ad sales steady; Alphabet leads tech rally Driven by logo and Google Alphabet Inc on Monday said they will ban the use of location tracking in apps that use a new contact tracking system

Apple and Google, whose OS power 99% of smartphones, said they would work collected last month to build a system to alert people close to others who have tested positive for Covid-19, the disease often caused by coronavirus.

All companies said privacy was a primary objective, preventing governments from using the program to collect citizens’ data. The device uses phone-detecting bluetooth signals and does not use or store GPS location data.

Yet coronavirus-related software developers in many U.S. states told Reuters last month that enabling them to use GPS location data in tandem with the latest contact tracking program was crucial to monitor how outbreaks spread and locate hotspots.

On Monday, Apple and Google said they would not allow the use of GPS data with touch outlining systems. The decision would allow public health agencies to rely on unreliable workarounds to detect incidents using Bluetooth sensors using GPS location data.

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