APHL Wants to Build Central Server for COVID-19 Data

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of server room

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) wants to build and host a national server to hold data collected from exposure notification apps. It’s partnering with Apple, Google, and Microsoft to do so.

Rather than each state and territorial public health agency bearing the burden of building and hosting its own key servers, a national server can securely host the keys of those affected users, eliminate duplication and enable notifications across state borders. APHL is also championing the effort to build and host a national key server on behalf of the public health community. This will allow users to continually benefit from exposure notifications as they travel across state lines, and help state and territorial agencies deploy their apps quickly.

Just two days ago, Trump removed control of public COVID-19 data from the CDC, and now someone wants to build a national server? What could go wrong?

UK Government Releases NHS COVID Contracts With Private Companies

· Andrew Orr · Link

United Kingdom flag

Faced with pressure, the UK government has released its contracts with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Faculty, Palantir, and others.

The contracts show that companies involved in the NHS datastore project, including Faculty and Palantir, were originally granted intellectual property rights (including the creation of databases), and were allowed to train their models and profit off their unprecedented access to NHS data.

The REAL reason why they wanted to avoid Apple and Google’s privacy solution.

Italy Launches ‘Immuni’ Contact Tracing App

· Andrew Orr · News

Immuni App icon

Italy has launched its contact tracing app called Immuni. It uses Apple and Google’s exposure notification API. Find it on the App Store here.

The Care19 Contact Tracing App Gives Your Location Data to Foursquare

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of person holding phone

Care19, a contact tracing app used by North and South Dakota, violates its own privacy policy. Notably, the creator of the app, ProudCrowd, made sure that location data from the app is shared with Foursquare, although it claims it’s not used for commercial purposes. It’s a violation of its privacy policy because users are told their location data is private:

This location data is private to you and is stored securely on ProudCrowd, LLC servers. It will not be shared with anyone including government entities or third parties, unless you consent or ProudCrowd is compelled under federal regulations.

The Inside Story of How Apple and Google Worked on Contact Tracing

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple health icon

CNBC has a report today on how a small team at Apple started developing ideas on how to help with the pandemic. It was codenamed Project Bubble.

In mid-March, with Covid-19 spreading to almost every country in the world, a small team at Apple started brainstorming how they could help […] Within a few weeks, the Apple project — code-named “Bubble” — had dozens of employees working on it with executive-level support from two sponsors: Craig Federighi, a senior vice president of software engineering, and Jeff Williams, the company’s chief operating officer and de-facto head of healthcare.

It’s a fascinating read.