Apple and Google have stipulated how public health authorities around the world can use their upcoming coronavirus tracking system in an effort to preserve user privacy.
Representatives from the two companies announced today that, in addition to standard reviews on Apple and Google’s app stores, public health authorities will have to sign legal addendums to gain access to the new API agreeing to several principles. Those include: that the apps are only used for the coronavirus pandemic — as opposed to, say, targeted advertising — and should minimize the amount of data they collect. They must require user consent at multiple stages and they cannot ask permission to use a smartphone’s location services. Lastly, the API will be granted to one app per country or region, depending on the government’s approach.