The CDC has shared a new document today that covers some of the minimum as well as preferred criteria for digital contact tracing apps. No surprise here but Apple and Google’s exposure notification system lines up with many of the “preferred” criteria elements and looks like it will offer a good choice for local health authorities as they develop apps and start to release them this month.
Reported by CNBC, the CDC’s new document that covers criteria for digital contract tracing tools is something that local health authorities will use to guide their implementation choice and it may encourage them to go with Apple and Google’s system.
Health departments don’t have to use Apple and Google’s system but there are a lot of advantages. It hits the preferred criteria attributes on the CDC’s list for elements like privacy, contact notification, interoperability, and more.
CNBC notes that the CDC does see a centralized system as acceptable but a decentralized system like Apple and Google’s exposure notification is preferred.
In one part of the document, the CDC says that the minimum criteria for contact notification through apps includes manual notices, which suggests a centralized system. But it also says that a preferred system under its criteria includes anonymous, automated notifications, like those provided by decentralized systems.
Although Apple and Google have done a lot to educate the public about the privacy and security of its software, a recent study saw a 60/40 split when it comes to Americans’ willingness to use Apple and Google’s software for contact tracing. But for context (even though it may be a bit self-selecting) a previous 9to5Mac survey saw that a majority trust an Apple and Google system over the government.
Apple and Google’s software uses anonymous Bluetooth data, not GPS location data, is explicitly opt-in, and all information processing and storage happens on a users’ device. Read more on COVID-19 Exposure Notification below.
CNBC also says that Apple and Google will show off “sample apps using their system early next week.”
More on Exposure Notifications on iOS and Android:
- iPhone and Android COVID-19 contact-tracing: Public health authority apps only, can be disabled by region, multiple iOS updates required
- iPhone and Android COVID-19 contact tracing FAQ: What govt. sees, where data is stored, more
- More resources on Apple’s website
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