Apple and Google are Building COVID-19 Contact Tracing Technology

Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in contact tracing

In order to protect people and get society back up and running, governments and health authorities across the world are working together to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this spirit of collaboration, tech giants Google and Apple are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security being central to the design.

Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution in two steps, while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.

First of all, in May, both companies will release application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. After that, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into underlying platforms.

“All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems,” the brands announced in a joint statement. “Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.”