Apple and Google have announced a lot of information about how the COVID-19 joint contact tracking technology works. However, some details were still unclear. In a statement posted on The Verge, Apple provided several clarifications.
Apple and Google will strive to provide a Bluetooth-based contact search platform by integrating this functionality into operating systems. Apple is aware of the limitations of Bluetooth and knows that the application will need to manage certain aspects to avoid false alarms, only issuing a warning when the user has been near a COVID-19 patient for a considerable period of time. This means that the user will receive an alert if there is an infected person on the same bus, for example, but not if that person has just touched us on the street.
The two companies will also launch a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces and operating system technologies to facilitate activation of contact tracking. These APIs will ensure interoperability between applications developed by health authorities between Android and iOS devices. Apple has provided more details on how the tracking API works.
When the feature is integrated at the operating system level, you will need to activate the API before you start sending and receiving Bluetooth signals. And if for some time you have not yet installed a medical assistance application, once installed, you will still receive all the events of the last 14 days.
However, all this does not guarantee a perfect system. The system may not completely remove false warnings. And it is possible that the virus is spread by very rapid interactions (for example, someone who has just sneezed before resuming walking), which are not recorded by the application. However, these systems could prove to be effective whenever governments are ready to start lifting containment measures.