After three years, Apple is ending support for COVID-19 Exposure Notifications API. According to 9to5Mac, the newly released iOS 16.4 Release Candidate allows health authorities to remove support for Exposure Notifications API to end contact tracing.
After the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Apple partnered with Google for the development and launch of the Exposure Notifications API for health authorities in the United States and worldwide. Using the API, health authorities could develop their own apps iOS and Android for contact tracing; users who tested positive enter their data in the app which would alert their contacts, so they can maintain distance and contain transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
However, the Exposure Notifications API did not see widespread adoption by health authorities. Later, Apple introduced Exposure Notification Express in iOS 13.7 which eliminated the need for an app.
Health authorities will be able to remove support for Exposure Notifications on iOS 16.4
Thanks to the global COVID-19 vaccination drives, the pandemic has come to an end and life is returning back to normal, pre-COVID-19 time. Therefore, Apple has also decided to end the support for Exposure Notifications API for health departments.
As per the report, health authorities will be able to disable the feature in the upcoming iOS 16.4 update and when disabled, the following message will appear on users’ iPhones:
“Your health authority has turned off Exposure Notifications. Your iPhone is no longer logging nearby devices and will not be able to notify you of possible exposures,” the message reads. “Previously collected exposure data is automatically deleted.”
iOS 16.4 is expected to release in the coming days as its Release Candidate is out already.
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