A complete adoption of the Apple/Google coronavirus contact tracing API within the EU looks to be moving forward. Reporting for 9to5mac, tech writer Ben Lovejoy writes that the European Commission has endorsed the collective adoption of one app or common standard (e.g. the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) platform).
Speaking to Reuters, Chris Boos (a champion of the PEPP-PT and the founder of Arago, a German startup for business process automation) praised the move as a shorter path to deployment, stating “We need to worry less about operating system stability and device calibration.”
While Boos praises a centralized model as offering “much better pandemic management potential without infringing privacy,” this method is far from fait accompli. Alternatively, Lovejoy compares the Apple/Google API as a “very deliberately a decentralized approach, where data is held only on the phone itself unless the owner (a) tests positive and (b) gives permission for their Bluetooth contact codes to be uploaded.”
Boos’ final thought emphasizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution: “... it should be a country’s choice. You can gather the same data on top of a decentralized model – it just means more people have to move data on infected people.”
A progress report for PEPP-PT was planned for last Friday, 17 April.
Where privacy is the top concern, Apple/Google API offers the highest standard. This reassurance of privacy is the likely key to reassuring cautious adopters. In this same vein, Apple is working on “anonymized Apple Maps mobility data available to health authorities to help them track the effectiveness of lockdown measures.” 9to5mac has made an outline (in layman’s terms) of what messages are needed from Apple and Google to reassure users concerned about privacy.