Exposure Notification API: A Joint Venture by Apple and Google
made life stagnant and it has affected people in several ways. To protect
people and make this world up and running again the two tech giants have
collaborated to help government and public health authorities in providing
solutions to stopping the spread of coronavirus.
2020 Google and Apple announced the contact tracing strategy for combating the
increase of Coronavirus patients by smartphones. In this struggle they have
come up with a technique that makes use of Bluetooth technology. User’s privacy
and identification have been given top priority while developing this API.
health authorities which can incorporate it in their apps and use it to slow
down the spread of COVID-19. Applications using the contact tracing approach
uses Bluetooth technology, the user’s smartphone continuously exchange beacons
with random Bluetooth identifiers from other nearby smartphones and keeps changing
it after every 10-20 mins for additional protection of user’s identity. When
each phone receives the beacon, it stores it temporarily for 14 days. If any
smartphone owner gets diagnosed positively with COVID-19 and shares that test
in an app from public health officials, his phone will upload (with his
consent) all the keys generated by his Bluetooth beacon from last 14 days to
the server which in turn will notify all the people with whom he has been in
contact with for the last 14 days by matching the keys periodically from the
server. The notified people will then be required to adopt self-quarantine or
other important measures. The information regarding the distance between the
users can be obtained via Bluetooth signal strength.
Government and public health officials are referring this technique to be
useless as it is purely based on the user’s consent to upload his test result on
the server which will create hindrance in stopping the spread of this pandemic.
Moreover they won’t be able to collect location-based data which can help them
to pinpoint the infected areas. Furthermore, the continuous use of Bluetooth
technology will strain the battery which will irritate the user.