Apple-Google Project for COVID-19

Governments are racing for a solution to COVID-19, looking to mobile technology to help solve the problem. This raises concerns when it comes to data, making it the perfect opportunity to launch Microsoft 365 backup for business. It’s a secure way to make sure all your information and stored and devoid of risk from corruption.

A Solution on the Horizon

COVID-19 started small and spread across the globe in a matter of months. Business and life as we know it came to a halt, calling for all of us to stay in place. It kicked governments into high gear, fumbling for ways to get the economy back up and running. To join in the efforts of keeping people safe and businesses running, software developers came to the rescue, working on rapid-release technical tools and applications to help handle the situation. Powering the operation are two of the largest companies in the industry: Apple and Google.

Apple-Google Project

Researchers know that COVID-19 spreads rapidly during contact with infected individuals. Once infected, most symptoms do not appear immediately due to the virus’s 14-day onset. That is why healthcare officials have proposed a contact tracing tool to help identify those near the virus hotspot and identify their close contacts. The two powerhouses plan to team up in the creation of a Bluetooth technology known as the Bluetooth exposure notification system (‘ENS’). Using newly developed application programming interfaces (APIs), this technology will be launching quickly, with both companies rushing to create a complex application while abiding by privacy laws included in both the United States and Europe.

What Data is Being Collected?

With data protection laws tightening, an application of this sort is difficult to develop. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws in Europe and the United States Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) are strict when it comes to data, making its protection one of their top priorities. The data collected as part of the efforts are:

  • Bluetooth identifier codes
  • Positive diagnosis information
  • Associated information
  • Notifications to exposed users

What About Privacy?

To keep within the privacy laws, the ENS system released by the Apple-Google fusion promises not to collect information relating to an identifiable natural person. The laws define this information as anything that can identify a person either directly or indirectly. That means the new application does not have the right to share:

  • Name
  • Any form of identification number
  • Location data
  • Any physical or physiological data

With the push to put out this application, there could be other vulnerable areas, leaving data at risk. While nothing within the project will allow this data to be passed from one individual to another, there are potential risks for exposure due to the required information for the application, including one’s phone number. As time passes and the application collects data, the plan is to follow-up with individuals who have tested positive via in-person interviews. This, of course, interferes with data protection laws, leaving developers in a bind. The Apple-Google duo promises to delete data once the pandemic is over, but data often leave a permanent digital mark.

Protecting your Data and Storage

To make sure that your information and storage are protected, always run a backup. The amount of time between backups depends on how much data you save in a given time. It is recommended at least twice a year, or more time if you happen to upload something highly valuable onto your device. With the potential to attack applications and the demand for this new ENS technology, it is best to ensure that your information and valuable stored data is protected at all times. We are not sure what the future holds, and this virus is out of our control. One thing that can be controlled as we make our way into the ‘new normal’ is the way you choose to protect your data.


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