Android contact tracing will be rolled out via Google Play

Yolanda Curtis
May 23, 2020

Google confirmed that a COVID-19 Tracker is now available on Android phones and other mobile devices via Google Play.

They plan to enable the use of Bluetooth technology so that it helps health and government agencies to reduce the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

There have been some unexpected side-effects to the coronavirus pandemic, including the teaming up of Google and Apple to provide information to the public about the spread of the disease.

As the world continues to combat a global threat, also known as COVID-19, the business has seen both negative and positive impacts. The rollout of this digital contact tracing is bound to take place over the next several months but the move has raised concerns around user privacy and security. The processing of individuals' location data "is not necessary nor recommended for the goal of contact tracing", according to the toolbox issued on Wednesday.

GDPR was cited as the cause for a delay in food boxes reaching 1.5 million vulnerable people in the United Kingdom now isolating from COVID-19 due to the regulation preventing the mass sharing of information such as people's names, addresses, and/or emails.

Play Services are updated automatically in the background, which means more Android users will receive the feature using this technique.

Meanwhile software developers from eight European Union countries are reportedly working on a new app that complies with European Union regulation, using bluetooth technology to monitor an individual's risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Google added in the statement that Play Services will be used in both phases of implementing the tracing system. However, there are still some Android devices that will not benefit from the new update. The EU will "seek clarifications on the solution proposed by Google and Apple", the European Commission said on Thursday.

To help Huawei's customers and all others who are using Android in China, Google will be releasing a framework, which leading Chinese manufacturers can use to create a similar tracing system.

The strategy provided by Google to address these restrictions was launched a year ago to provide more recent versions of Android. And Blumenthal wants the companies to show and be clear about how exactly they plan on ensuring user's privacy.

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