Google and Apple to ban location tracking in contact tracing apps

Apple and Google both have announced that they would ban the use of location tracking feature in applications that use a new contact tracing system that these two companies are building to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Both the companies have said that the primary reason behind banning the use of location tracking for such app is the privacy issues and the governments using the system to compile data on citizens.

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For those who are unaware, Apple and Google — the companies which have mobile operating system powering almost all of the smartphones, are working together for a new system that will notify users if they come in contact with someone tested positive for COVID-19.

The system uses phones’s Bluetooth to detect encounters and does not use or store GPS location data. While developers of coronavirus-related apps have asked to be allowed to use GPS location data in conjunction with the new contact tracing system, both the companies have denied the use.

Last week, Apple and Google announced that they would release two early versions of the system this week. The companies are expected to release the final version of their tools by mid-May or end-May, after developers complete testing.