Apple and Google Ban Location Tracking in COVID Apps

Location symbol on a map.

Apple and Google announced on Monday that the use of location tracking in contact tracing apps is banned (via Reuters).

Location Ban

The two companies are designing the contact tracing (exposure notification) platform to preserve user privacy. Some governments are on board with that, while others want to store data like GPS location in a centralized database. Now the companies decided to ban GPS data location in apps that use their platform. Some are sticking to their plan.

Software company Twenty, which developed the state of Utah’s Healthy Together contact tracing app with both GPS and Bluetooth, said on Monday the app “operates effectively” without the new Apple-Google tool.

“If their approach can be more effective than our current solution, we’ll eagerly incorporate their features into our existing application, provided it meets the specifications of current and prospective public health partners,” Twenty said.

Additionally, Apple and Google will only allow on app per country to use their platform, to avoid fragmentation.

Further Reading

[France Claims Apple is Undermining its COVID App Efforts]

[UK Coronavirus Contact Tracing App Gets App Store Approval]

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