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Apple and Google have unveiled a new COVID-19 exposure notification express system to support COVID-19 contact tracing.
Apple has announced recently that it will release iOS 13.7 to the public display and will introduce a major expansion in the COVID-19 exposure notifications platform. Along with it, Google will also introduce this system to allow public health authorities to support COVID-19 contact tracing.
Apple iOS 13.7 is now released at the time of writing and the iPhone users can download it by going to their settings.
Apple and Google have together announced that they are working together on the COVID-19 exposure notification API during the onset of the pandemic
The companies have detailed two phases of technology: the first phase which is what came with iOS 13.5 which required the users to first download an app from their public health authority to get the exposure notifications.
In the second phase, there is less reliance on the public health authorities as both the companies have implemented much of the COVID-19 exposure notification technology directly into iOS and Android.
Changes that come with iOS 13.7
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For users, you can now enable the exposure notifications directly in the settings of your iPhone. The process is just as simple as few taps.
Users will also be able to opt for push notifications when their public authorities adopt Exposure notification express.
Once you enable exposure notifications in the settings app, your iPhone will begin monitoring with Bluetooth to log possible exposures so you can be notified of a potential COVID-19 exposure based on the guidelines by your local public authority.
Apple and Google hope that this expansion of the exposure notification express system will dramatically increase the adoption from both users and public health services.
The first public authorities in the US to adopt this service would be Maryland, Nevada, Virginia and Washington DC.
For states that already have a stand-alone using the COVID-19 exposure API, those apps can still exist and operate on their own.
Apple and Google say that as of now, more than 55 percent of the population are exploring exposure notification express system.
Users must explicitly enable exposure notifications and nothing will be enabled by default.
No location data is shared and the system does not share the personal data of the users to other users.
All matching is done on device and the users have full control over whether they want to report a positive test.
By Gayatri Yellayi