In April, 22 countries which had requested for the tracing technology, received the API immediately, when Contact tracing and Exposure Notification technology was released to developers and government agencies in iOS 13.5. update and Google Play, respectively.
The digital contact tracing system is co-created by both companies which is designed to be used for phones to interface with one another. The system will offer rapid notifications to users in case of exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case.
With the rapid growth of the pandemic around the world, Apple – Google Contact Tracing system is now finally gathering pace, with more countries adopting it as the pandemic continues to grow globally. Previously, Finland, Ireland, and Portugal have adopted the API, with Austria switching to it from its previous app. Australia and Singapore were also considering making the change in the past few weeks. Switzerland was the first country to release an app based on the Apple-Google API, followed by Italy. Germany, Estonia, and Latvia are now following suit and released their own apps made by using the API.
Only the UK and France have rejected the idea so far. On the other hand, it was reported that the UK is considering switching to the Apple-Google Contact Tracing after its centralized app had some security issues and retained personal data for over 20 years. The app is now facing legal challenges as well.
Apple – Google Contact Tracing API in the US
So far, only 4 out of 50 states in the United States are participating in the Apple-Google contact tracing system. Over 29 states have not responded to the offer and the other States are in the state of abeyance and maintain that ‘the State is not exploring using ‘exposure notification’ generated data at this time.’
Alabama, North Dakota, Virginia, and South Carolina were the first states to express interest in the Apple-Google Contact Tracing system.
Apple and Google have been working on tracking the pandemic since it started. Apple has let users make their monthly payments with installments, introduced a screening tool for public, a screening app for first responders, The company also encourages its employees and customers to stay at home and practice self-isolation if they experience any symptoms.