Big tech giants are trying to get a handle on the spread of the coronavirus. They are working to compile data on who has Covid-19, how fast it’s spreading and how far it’s spreading around the world.
Apple & Google have partnered up to focus on compiling the data. They are using Bluetooth technology to help identity potential Covd-19 hotspots based on smartphone location data. As we all know, they have tons of data to work with. By combing their resources, they are hoping to be able to create a complete picture of exactly what’s going on and where.
A joint statement put out by the two companies reads, in part:
“Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems. Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.”
Though, in theory, this all sounds well and good, not everyone is for it. A spokesperson for the ACLU questions whether this new venture and data analytics will intrude even more on individual privacy. Will these new tracking methodologies be worth some of the privacy concerns that come with it?
Technology can always sound promising, but at what cost? We will just have to wait and see what Apple and Google have in store for this new project.