Alabama, North Dakota and South Carolina have signed agreements with the tech giants to use the tracing technology to develop COVID-19 tracking apps to help slow the spread of the virus.
(TNS) — Alabama is one of three states to sign on with Google and Apple for a new contact tracing app designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Alabama, North Dakota and South Carolina have signed agreement with the tech giants to use the tracing technology to develop COVID-19 tracking apps. Twenty-two foreign countries have also signed agreements to use the technology, known as “Exposure Notifications.”
“(We’ve) joined hands with these two global giants in hopes of helping our people learn when and where they may have gotten exposed to this virus,” Gov. Kay Ivey said Thursday. “Hopefully, this will become an important tool in the tool kit to slow the spread of coronavirus by using what almost every Alabamians has in their pocket…a cell phone.”
States using the technology will create tracing apps using Bluetooth technology. When someone tests positive for COVID-19, the system will send a notification to anyone who was recently near that person, advising them to contact their local healthcare authority to receive a coronavirus test.
CNBC reported the technology includes storing data on a person’s phone and not on a central database.
“Each user gets to decide whether or not to opt-in to Exposure Notifications; the system does not collect or use location from the device; and if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is up to them whether or not to report that in the public health app,” Google and Apple said in a joint statement. “User adoption is key to success and we believe that these strong privacy protections are also the best way to encourage use of these apps.”
The technology is included in iPhone and Android updates released Wednesday.
©2020 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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