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Google and Apple ban the use of location data with their contact-tracking technology

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Google and Apple ban the use of location data with their contact-tracking technology
As we all know, Google and Apple joined forces in the face of the coronavirus pandemic to develop a contact-tracing system that can help limit the spread of the disease. Now, Reuters reports that the companies will ban the use of location data for contact-tracking apps, built using the technology developed by the two.

That basically means that Google and Apple want to make sure the governments do not use their system to compile data on citizens, therefore misusing the system for other goals, not related to public health.

Google and Apple’s system works based on Bluetooth signals and Bluetooth handshakes between devices and does not use or store GPS location data. However, some developers have told Reuters that using GPS location data in this case is vital to track the disease hotspots or how an outbreak moves.

The decision to not allow location data collection for Apple and Google’s contact-tracing system requires authorities to rely on other systems for the development of virus-tracking apps, if they want to base it on GPS location data. Reportedly, Google and Apple have described alternatives as unstable and battery-draining. However, some US companies that have developed contact-tracing apps stated that they are operating efficiently without the help of the Google-Apple tool.

Additionally, Google and Apple announced that they will allow only one app per country to be developed with their contact-tracing system, in attempts to limit fragmentation and offer the possibility for wider adoption by the population.

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