Employees at Google’s office in Berlin. File/Agence France-Presse
Authorities in 23 countries across five continents have sought access to contact tracing technology from Apple and Alphabet’s Google, the companies announced as they released the initial version of their system.
But authorities would have to stop requiring phone numbers from users under the companies’ rules, one of several restrictions that have left governments fighting the novel coronavirus frustrated that the world’s top two smartphone software makers undercut the technology’s usefulness by prioritising user privacy.
Apple and Google said several US states and 22 countries have sought access to their technology, but it is unclear how many will end up publishing mobile apps that use it.
Using apps to accelerate contact tracing, in which authorities identify and test people who were recently near a virus carrier, has emerged as a tool to stem new outbreaks. It could help authorities test more potentially infected individuals than they would normally be able to based on patients recalling recent interactions from memory.
But some governments contend their app-based efforts would be more effective if they could track users’ locations to identify hot spots for virus transmission and notify them about possible exposure through calls or texts, rather than a generic push notification.
Apple and Google have barred authorities using their technology from collecting GPS location data or requiring users to enter personal data.
“We have a collision of tech, privacy and health professionals and the Venn diagram doesn’t really have a spot where they all overlap,” said Chester Wisniewski, a principal research scientist at cybersecurity company Sophos.
Australia, the United Kingdom and other countries that have sought to develop their own technology are experiencing glitches, draining device batteries and seeing limited adoption.
Pressure is rising on Big Tech firms, signaling tougher regulation in Washington and elsewhere that could lead to the breakup of the largest platforms.
The iPhone surely is the Apple of one’s eye. And the celebrated American company is living up to its reputation. Apple on Tuesday played to its strength with a powerful new iPhone and iPad models able to serve as stages for its new game and television services.
Economists concerned about slowing productivity have spent the past decade hotly debating the value of free digital services such as Google’s web search and Amazon’s online store. But those online services have proven their worth during
Smart speakers add a level of convenience to daily life, but there are also some privacy issues associated with using them. According to a recent report, it’s not just your Alexa smart speaker listening to you — Amazon employees may be listening, too.
DP World, a global leader in supply chain solutions, has partnered with Standard Bank, the largest bank in Africa by assets, to offer trade finance solutions jointly with DP World Trade Finance.
Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) today announced the launch of a new QR Code initiative for Holiday Homes in Dubai, as part of efforts to improve transparency
The second edition of the UAE China Tyre & Auto Parts Expo, supported by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and organised by Inter-Commerce Expo,