Apple and Google anticipate tool that will allow use of smartphone data in the control of COVID-19

Apple and Google anticipate tool that will allow use of smartphone data in the control of COVID-19

The first deadline had been set for May, but Apple and Google are accelerating the development of a tool that will allow programmers to use location data from iOS and Android smartphones in applications that will be used in the context of the COVID-19 combat.

The confirmation was advanced by Tim Cook in a video conference with European commissionerThierry Breton, according to the newspaper.Les Echos. During the conversation, the European official has pressured Apple to ensure that the system is in line with the European Union's privacy rules.

Anonymization of information, voluntary adherence, transparency, data maintenance for a limited period, security and interoperability are requirements that the European Commission had already stated that it wanted to see guaranteed in this new system that should help countries to make users aware to maintain the confinement and social distance recommended by the WHO to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

The European Commission has already guaranteed that it will only approve this technology during the COVID-19 crisis, for a limited time, and if it complies with privacy rules.

There are countries that are moving forward with their own solutions, such as France that is developing a tracking application that should be launched on May 11, when the state of emergency ends in the country. According to the information provided, it will use Bluetooth technology.

In Portugal the idea of ​​using a tool to control the movement of citizens was repeatedly dismissed by the Government, but today it admitted to the podcast Poltica com Palavraque that DGS could have access to the Portuguese mobile phones to warn them that they were close to someone contaminated with COVID- 19, but always without access to identification data.

According to the Pblico newspaper, Antnio Costa was very clear in excluding the possibility of georeferencing (use of geographic location data), tracking or identification, but explains that everything can be done through access to contacts. The possibility, for example, that DGS can access from my mobile phone the identification of mobile phone numbers with which my mobile phone has been in close proximity for more than x time and less than x distance during the last 14 days and send a message to these people, without knowing who they are, stating that they have been in proximity for more than ten minutes, or 15 minutes, with the cell phone of a person who is said to be infected, "he says.

Thierry Breton had already held a similar conversation with Google CEO Sundar Pichai, eSusan Wojcicki of YouTube, where he also asked the company to reduce the quality of streaming in order to limit the impact of increased video viewing on European networks.