Apple and Google are offering a bold plan using signals from more than 3 billion smartphones to help stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus while protecting users' privacy. But epidemiologists caution that—privacy concerns aside—the scheme will be of limited use in combating Covid-19 because of the technology's constraints, inadequate testing for the disease, and users' reluctance to participate. The Apple-Google proposal, announced Friday, is designed to record when two people come near one another without revealing their identities or location. It relies on Bluetooth technology, a short-range wireless protocol often used to connect phones to devices such as headphones. Apple and Google say they will create software allowing phones to broadcast unique cryptographically generated codes via Bluetooth. The codes won't include identifying information or location data, and the cryptography is designed to make it impossible to tie the codes to a particular person. Read all of our coronavirus coverage here . Other phones would record these codes when they came nearby, perhaps within 10 or 15 feet. Each phone would store the codes it receives for 14 days. When someone reports a Covid-19 infection, their codes will be uploaded to a central server. Other phones would periodically check this… Read full this story
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