“Across the world, governments, and health authorities are working together to find solutions to the COVID‑19 pandemic, to protect people and get society back up and running.”

Privacy-Preserving Contact Tracing

To slow down COVID-19 spread and get things back to normal, Google and Apple partnered to create a privacy-first Exposure Notification API.

The API has two roles: 1) Affected Users and 2) Exposed Users.

The diagram on how the Exposure Notification works is a bit complex: in a nutshell, it works in the following way:

  • When a user is diagnosed positive, the information is encrypted and broadcasted to users that were in contact with the user.
  • It uses Bluetooth to detect proximity between two users.

Because protecting user’s privacy is key for this to work, the user diagnosed with COVID-19 will have to consent the broadcast, and the information about her location and the notification to others is encrypted.

It is a privacy-first proximity technology, that will track who you were in contact with, without exposing your information. It doesn’t use wifi or the mobile network.

This technology is not for commercial purposes: only health authorities and governments will be able to develop applications and leverage it.

To learn more about this, please refer to this FAQ document.


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Leo Celis