The coronavirus patient tracking system, which Apple and Google launched last spring, quickly ceased to be the main topic of the industry. Despite the importance of the development, many countries around the world refused to use it, explaining the refusal for a variety of reasons. Some considered the system insufficiently effective, others – dangerous, and still others made it clear that they simply did not have the necessary resources to create applications that activate tracking mechanisms. Therefore Apple and Google decided to improve their product by offering a more advanced and simpler version.
COVID-19 Patient Tracking System Improved
To keep costs down for local health authorities, companies have decided not to force them to create custom apps themselves. Initially, they were needed in order to access the database of those infected with the coronavirus, but since not everyone could start developing these applications, Apple and Google proposed to solve this issue. Apple, having released iOS 13.7, introduced a special toolkit into the OS that allows the Ministry of Health to simply pass authorization, and Google promised to create such an application itself.
Tracking coronavirus patients
Google decided to make its own tracking application
The new system is called Express Contact Tracking. Express – because from the moment the Ministry of Health makes a decision about the desire to join the initiative to the start of the actual tracking, a minimum of time passes. Google will ask health authorities to send her a configuration file with basic information on how the program will access the database, and how it will send notifications in case of contact with an infected person. And then – Google developers will simply add the necessary data to the already existing protected utility.
Despite the fact that from now on, third-party applications from health authorities are no longer required, Google has not changed the system in such a way as to block them. That is, those countries that are concerned about releasing utilities that activate tracking mechanisms will be able to continue to use them without resorting to a universal Google solution. In the end, the update is not aimed at them, but at new countries that have not yet joined the initiative, but are only planning to do so.
COVID-19 Tracking App
Google is not as honest as it tries to talk about itself
Unlike Apple, which released iOS 13.7 yesterday, Google will only release its own app by the end of September. This is rather strange, given that, firstly, the companies are developing the system together, and, secondly, its release this spring for Android and iOS took place with only a few hours apart. Apparently, at some point, due to differences in operating systems Apple and Google decided that they could afford to start developing separately, or at least not focus on each other, since it makes practical sense this, whatever one may say, no.
Does this mean that Russia will immediately connect to the contact tracing system from Apple and Google? My opinion on this matter remains unchanged. I sincerely believe that our Ministry of Health considers the use of such tools ineffective and even dangerous. After all, connecting to the system means giving an American company access to information about patients in their country. Despite the fact that Google promises that its product is completely safe, at least one case is known when data on user movements went not only to the database for verification, but also to Google itself, which could thus spy on the meetings of millions of its customers.