Apple and Google announced last month that they were working together on a system to notify people who have been around others who have tested positive for COVID-19.
This system can only be used by applications developed by official organizations to control and reduce the expansion of the coronavirus.
This system registers the anonymous identifiers of other smartphones that you approach with your smartphone via Bluetooth. If someone with whom you have been in contact reports in the application that they are infected, all the people who have been in contact with it will receive a notification, without knowing who or where the infection occurred.
Today Apple and Google have revealed that they would ban the use of location tracking in apps that use their contact tracking system.
Ensuring privacy and preventing governments from using the system to collect data on citizens is a primary goal for both companies. Companies recently announced changes to improve privacy.
The system uses the Bluetooth signals from the phones to detect contacts and does not use or store GPS location data.
Developers of official coronavirus-related applications in several US states They said last month that it was vital that they be allowed to use GPS location data in conjunction with the new contact tracking system, to track how outbreaks move and identify hot spots.
Apple and Google said they will not allow the use of GPS data in conjunction with the contact tracking system. Privacy experts have warned that location data related to health issues could cause companies and individuals to be marginalized if the data is exposed.
Authorities and their app developers may reject restrictions from Apple and Google and instead use a more basic Bluetooth-based system to record contacts. However, the system may not detect all contacts because iPhone and Android devices disable Bluetooth connections after some time for battery saving reasons.
Apple and Google also said Monday that they will only allow one application per country to use the new contact system, to avoid fragmentation and encourage more adoption. However, they will support them to countries that choose a state or regional approach.