(Last Updated On: June 29, 2020)

Google and Apple talked to the Indian government in order to put in their contact-tracing API (application programme interface) in the Aarogya Setu app.

Both companies had recently joined a contact-tracing API on Android and iOS. An API is an enabling tool that requires an embedding into an app that will then monitor the location of a user and send alerts of any close by COVID infected person on a Google or Apple phone.

Although, the government is not very eager to include Google and Apple API in Aarogya Setu. 

“Aarogya Setu has an in-built contact-tracing API and thus may not require this,” the government was quoted saying.

 Currently, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the UK, and Uruguay, are the countries that use the Apple-Google contact tracing app.

Both Google and Apple announced on April 10th about its two-phase exposure notification solution which will make use of Bluetooth technology on mobile devices to help with its efforts in contact tracing.

 Both tech giants have emphasized that the API will not be violating user privacy. Google and Apple both said that the system will not be gathering location data from its user’s device. The user will have complete control over data that is shared. Exposure notification is only done on-device and under the user’s control. Also, people that have tested positive, will not be identified by the system or any users, or even to Apple or Google. Both companies have also said that they will be disabling the exposure notification system on a regional basis when it is not needed anymore.

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