Apple and Google have reached out to the Indian government to offer assistance in implementing its COVID19 “exposure notification” API to the country’s contact tracing app according to the Times of India.
The sources quoted by the report said that despite the initial approach by the companies, “not much headway has been made.” The app itself called Aarogya Setu uses its own API that is less reliable than the Silicon Valley option. Yet, a government official told the Times that “Aarogya Setu has an in-built contact-tracing API and thus may not require this.”
The API launched on iPhones worldwide with the iOS 13.5 update. However, as recently as yesterday the API has been appearing on Android devices in India. In a country dominated by low-medium range Android smartphones, an update to those phones means even more people in the country are connected via the API.
Since its debut in April, the API has faced criticism from governments around the world calling into question its reliability and privacy. The API doesn’t share any personal data with Apple, Google, or any app, instead it uses random Bluetooth identifiers to locate and trace positive COVID19 cases.