Google And Apple Say They Will Shut Down Coronavirus Contact Tracing API Once Pandemic Ends

Apple and Google have altered their coronavirus contact tracing API plans two weeks to the day after announcing them.

According to The Verge, Apple said that the move comes after both companies received feedback on the scope of the project.

The report notes that the companies have confirmed that it will disable its API once the global coronavirus pandemic has come to a close. Although its likely this will need to be handled at a local level.

On a call accompanying the announcement, representatives from each company pledged for the first time to disable the service after the outbreak had been sufficiently contained. Such a decision would have to be made on a region-by-region basis, and it’s unclear how public health authorities would reach such a determination. However, the engineers stated definitively that the APIs were not intended to be maintained indefinitely.

Apple and Google have come in for criticism by privacy advocates and politicians looking to make a name for themselves of late. Conversely, French authorities have already reached out to Apple to ask for restrictions to be relaxed to allow them to have their tracing app run in the background.

Both Apple and Google continue to take steps to help with the ongoing pandemic, with protective clothing being provided to those who need it but aren’t able to get it via conventional means.

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