On Wednesday Apple released iOS and iPadOS 13.5 with its joint COVID19 API with Google. The new API allows government health departments to create an app that tracks a user’s potential exposure to COVID19.
In Europe, the dynamic of which countries are using the API is pretty tense. France for example has been spewing with Apple over the API and which system to use, a centralized or decentralized one. Over the pond in the UK, the goveremnt sitll remains put in using its own system, which some says jepaordzes user privacy.
In the United States, three states have currently said they are using the API. However, as CNBC reports a total of 22 health departments have requested and received access to the API. The first state to be working on an app is the State of Alabama is working in junction with the University of Alabama.
“harnessing technology to accelerate exposure notification to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that we can all be safe together”Alabama health official statement via CNBC
North Dakota is also in the works on an app with goverenone Doug Gburgum highlithing the states eagerness to get it up and running:
“As we respond to this unprecedented public health emergency, we invite other states to join us in leveraging smartphone technologies to strengthen existing contact tracing efforts,”Statement from the Governor’s office
The third state working with the API is South Carolina who’s working with students from the Medical University of South Carolina, the app will be called “SC-Safer-Together,” no release date has been set yet.
On the flip side, a state that has already rejected the API is Utah. The state is instead opting for a system where users can choose their exact location with real-life human contact tracers, as CNBC reports:
But some states, like Utah, have taken a different approach to digital contact tracing in which users can share specific location data with human contact tracers — health employees who typically call up people who have tested positive or are at high-risk for contracting the virus. They argue that using more location data and a centralized approach will give more tools to public health departments than the anonymous Apple-Google system.
The API has been in testing for weeks, and now with it fully out we expect more states to jump on board.