In April 2020, US tech majors Apple and Google launched the ‘Exposure Notification’ API in order to help the government in tracing contacts of Covid-19 positive people.
The ‘Exposure Notification’ API works by enabling contact-tracing apps developed by governments and public health agencies in order to function accordingly.
It is available for both Android and iOS users in India but our contact-tracing platform Aarogya Setu is not compatible with the ‘Exposure Notification’ API as of now.
Apple and Google have also developed a set of privacy protocols, under which the developers of contact-tracing apps are required to agree to the terms and conditions.
How does Exposure Notification API works?
As it needs a contact-tracing platform, which in our case is Aarogya Setu.
As soon as the Aarogya Setu app becomes compatible with Exposure Notification API, we will be able to use it.
So, we’ll first need to install the app in our phone. Then as soon as we turn on the exposure notifications on our phone via Aarogya Setu, it will send random IDs to nearby phones (only to the ones which have turned on this setting).
With this our phone will store IDs throughout the day. We will be notified if anyone from these IDs tests positive for COVID-19.
What if our test is positive?
If we report on the app that we have been tested positive then we can choose to share that with the IDs. With this the users who have come in our contact could be alerted. Also the system will share “the day that contact happened”, “how long the contact lasted” and “the Bluetooth signal strength of that contact”.
Google assures that our identity will not be shared with other users.
What if we don’t want to use this?
If we don’t want to use this API then we can choose to turn it off. Google has mentioned it clearly that we can choose not to use exposure notifications and can use it only if WE want to use it. We can do this by uninstalling Aarogya Setu app or can go to the phone Settings> Google>COVID-19 exposure notifications and simply turn it off.
Stay tuned for more such articles.