Apple and Google announced in early April that they were collaborating on an API that would enable cross-platform data transfer, allowing governments around the world to create contact tracing applications that operate seamlessly on both Android and iOS. That API, which was later renamed the Exposure Notification API, is now generally available to public health agencies.
Apple CEO Time Cook made the announcement via Twitter:
Technology can help health officials rapidly tell someone they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Today the Exposure Notification API we created with @Google is available to help public health agencies make their COVID-19 apps effective while protecting user privacy.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 20, 2020
For more basic information on the origin of the API make sure to check out ProgrammableWeb’s first coverage of the partnership. Since the two companies joined forces the initiative has generated an immense amount of debate. With some, ProgrammableWeb included, questioning how much trust can really be placed in major organizations’ ability to protect sensitive data. And others, like the state of Utah, who think that the Exposure Notification API doesn’t require enough data.