Earlier this week European Commissioner Thierry Breton shared an image on Twitter of him having a video conference with Apple CEO Tim Cook. It has been widely reported that during this meeting Cook told the Commissioner that the COVID-19 contact tracing API being co-developed by Apple and Google will be ready for launch on April 28th.
I just had a good exchange with #Apple CEO @tim_cook on the need to ensure that contact tracing apps are fully:
and interoperable across operating systems and borders.#Deconfinement apps must respect our #privacy. pic.twitter.com/VrnUXOsrat
— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) April 22, 2020
Earlier this month ProgrammableWeb reported on the API being developed by the two tech giants, noting that it is the first step toward a massive effort to provide global contact tracing for COVID-19. The API will act as an intermediary between iOS and Android, allowing for a more broad analysis of the movement of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). With the two mobile operating systems carrying roughly 99 percent of the mobile OS market share globally, this move will certainly help cast a wide net, assuming adoption isn’t hindered by questions about security/privacy.
This conversation between Breton and Cook comes nearly a week after the Commissioner had a similar call with Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. In a statement released to the press Breton was quoted as saying “the responsibility of companies such as Apple to do their utmost to develop suitable technical solutions to make the national apps work. Coordination with EU member states’ health authorities is paramount...”