Apple and Google Update Exposure Notification API, 20 U.S. States Expected to Release Apps Soon

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Google today announced that the Exposure Notification API that it designed in partnership with Apple has received some improvements to make it more useful to public health authorities.


Most notably, the API supports interoperability between countries, and Bluetooth calibration has been improved. The full list of updates is below:
  • When an exposure is detected, public health authorities now have more flexibility in determining the level of risk associated with that exposure based on technical information from the API.
  • Bluetooth calibration values for hundreds of devices have been updated to improve the detection of nearby devices.
  • The API now supports interoperability between countries, following feedback from governments that have launched Exposure Notification apps.
  • To help public health authorities build apps more efficiently, we've added reliability improvements for apps and developer debug tools.
  • We've improved clarity, transparency and control for users. For example, the Exposure Notifications settings on Android now include a simple on/off toggle at the top of the page. In addition, users will also see a periodic reminder if ENS is turned on.
Google says it has also launched more technical guidance on how the Exposure Notification API works over the course of the last few weeks, and is providing more information on its Exposure Notifications website.

According to Google, 16 countries and regions across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America are using apps built with the Exposure Notification API, and 20 U.S. states are "exploring" apps with the first set to roll out "over the coming weeks."

Article Link: Apple and Google Update Exposure Notification API, 20 U.S. States Expected to Release Apps Soon
 
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Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
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What is a US based app that is actually using this now we can adopt?
There is no U.S. app, literally the U.S. Federal Govt punted on this (along with virtually everything else so "its not someone's fault"). It's up to the governors and only 3 states I think said they'd use it (as far as I know nobody has one out - out of the 3 states). It's rather tragic but virtually nobody in the U.S. will be able to use this.
 

iLoveDeveloping

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2009
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Absolutely insane American government won’t implement this!!! It’s working really well here in Ireland! Getting 12-45 contacts a day in app (in settings) and no positives yet! Amazing little app! Just one question though do the devs need to update the api or will it work with the app right away? It’s insane in Ireland that it can’t be used in Northern Ireland because it’s in the UK. Same land but needs 2 apps that won’t work together it’s crazy, kinda like the states in America I guess. The level of stupidity in this is mind boggling.
 

rcooked

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Feb 3, 2015
175
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Seems crazy to me as well. I’m going to email my state reps about this one.
 

Websnapx2

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2003
400
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Maybe I'm missing something, but it sure seems to me that Apple/Google should be providing the front-end 'app' for users... then letting governments tie into the systems via API's or even Data-as-a-Service (DaaS).
Why? Better to let the local health authority be the lead so they can address local information laws on a location by location basis. The front end is the easy part. The governments are still tying onto the back end through the API.
 
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scottish

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Aug 10, 2011
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Absolutely insane American government won’t implement this!!! It’s working really well here in Ireland! Getting 12-45 contacts a day in app (in settings) and no positives yet! Amazing little app! Just one question though do the devs need to update the api or will it work with the app right away? It’s insane in Ireland that it can’t be used in Northern Ireland because it’s in the UK. Same land but needs 2 apps that won’t work together it’s crazy, kinda like the states in America I guess. The level of stupidity in this is mind boggling.
NI has just launched an app which has been developed by the same company as the Irish app - apparently they will work cross border and I suppose this update to the API confirms that.

The company (Nearform) is now developing an app for Scotland and possibly Pennsylvania.
 
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PaulpBenitti

macrumors member
Jul 1, 2020
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Absolutely insane American government won’t implement this!!! It’s working really well here in Ireland! Getting 12-45 contacts a day in app (in settings) and no positives yet! Amazing little app! Just one question though do the devs need to update the api or will it work with the app right away? It’s insane in Ireland that it can’t be used in Northern Ireland because it’s in the UK. Same land but needs 2 apps that won’t work together it’s crazy, kinda like the states in America I guess. The level of stupidity in this is mind boggling.
What makes you think it's working? You have no reason to believe that it does anything.

This is nothing but a huge time wasting proof of concept.
 

manu chao

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Jul 30, 2003
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What makes you think it's working? You have no reason to believe that it does anything.

This is nothing but a huge time wasting proof of concept.
What makes you think that? You have no reason either to believe that isn‘t working.

Of course, just because the app registers contacts (btw in numbers that actually correspond to how much You have been mingling with others) doesn’t mean that the actual notification of positive ‘contacts’ is working. But at least some of the apps are open-source, if the app itself wouldn’t be working we would have heard about it by now. Ditto for the whole system, if it were technically disfunctional, we would have reports about it by now.
 
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CarlJ

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Feb 23, 2004
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The amount of data collected with this is staggering, but if it's not misused, the ability of this API is beyond amazing.

Here's to not abusing and misusing it 🥂
Please read the spec (the FAQ explains it quite well) and then list the ways in which the collected data could be misused - that is, the data that is actually collected, not something that you guess that it must be collecting.
 

bsolar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2011
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What makes you think it's working? You have no reason to believe that it does anything.
E.g. by reading the theoretical basis in papers, the technical specifications and by checking the open source code for some of the implementations.

There are good reason for thinking it works for those who take the time and effort of properly informing themselves.
 

DrRadon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2008
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The amount of data collected with this is staggering, but if it's not misused, the ability of this API is beyond amazing.

Here's to not abusing and misusing it 🥂
Check out how germany is doing it. The entire App is 100% open source. Super expensive to create and maintain apparently, but everyone can see all the code and hand in suggestions of how to do something better. It's a pretty amazing high level collaboration.
 

iLoveDeveloping

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Sep 24, 2009
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What makes you think it's working? You have no reason to believe that it does anything.

This is nothing but a huge time wasting proof of concept.
What makes me think it’s working. Am because over 105 people have had alerts to being close contacts already. The government release the figures that the app creates. So that’s how I know it’s working. The level of cynicism And distrust about all this is staggering - I would imagine your American? Or else think the government is spying on you? You probably don’t wear a face mask to protect OTHERS around you either am I right?
But hey, you won’t use an app made by Apple but you probably have an iPhone with location services on - this collects infinitely more information on you then this app ever would or could! What’s the point of making a comment like this. It’s helping people know if they’ve been in contact with an infected person it’s help in the fight against this horrible disease that’s killing thousands of people, get a life.
 

tehabe

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2018
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Hamburg
The amount of data collected with this is staggering, but if it's not misused, the ability of this API is beyond amazing.
The app in Germany, only uses random numbers which change every 14 days. It only uses Bluetooth to search for others and doesn't know your location at all. Many critics said that the API and apps like the Corona-Warn-App store not enough data to be useful for public health authorities to act. I would argue, if those apps were would store and use more data, fewer people would use them.
 

rlhamil

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2010
158
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There is no U.S. app, literally the U.S. Federal Govt punted on this (along with virtually everything else so "its not someone's fault"). It's up to the governors and only 3 states I think said they'd use it (as far as I know nobody has one out - out of the 3 states). It's rather tragic but virtually nobody in the U.S. will be able to use this.
There's another side to that. While it would certainly be most effective to have a single federally sponsored app that worked throughout the country, there are a LOT of people that don't trust ANY expansion of federal government, esp where there even MIGHT be privacy implications (or even the appearance of them). IF the API correctly does what it seems to be described as doing, there aren't really privacy implications, since one CHOOSES to report if one tests positive (and that simply lets others that were nearby in the previous few days know that they may have been exposed). Still, good luck explaining that and convincing people that QUITE PROPERLY don't trust government not to abuse its powers. In this situation, nothing is simple anymore, but people WILL still want simple answers rather than answers that cover everything relevant that's known about the situation.
 
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Defender2010

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Jun 6, 2010
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England
Absolutely insane American government won’t implement this!!! It’s working really well here in Ireland! Getting 12-45 contacts a day in app (in settings) and no positives yet! Amazing little app! Just one question though do the devs need to update the api or will it work with the app right away? It’s insane in Ireland that it can’t be used in Northern Ireland because it’s in the UK. Same land but needs 2 apps that won’t work together it’s crazy, kinda like the states in America I guess. The level of stupidity in this is mind boggling.
It’s the same development company and they are working on cross border support. Scotland are now also going to use the same company.
 

manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
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There's another side to that. While it would certainly be most effective to have a single federally sponsored app that worked throughout the country, there are a LOT of people that don't trust ANY expansion of federal government, esp where there even MIGHT be privacy implications (or even the appearance of them). IF the API correctly does what it seems to be described as doing, there aren't really privacy implications, since one CHOOSES to report if one tests positive (and that simply lets others that were nearby in the previous few days know that they may have been exposed). Still, good luck explaining that and convincing people that QUITE PROPERLY don't trust government not to abuse its powers. In this situation, nothing is simple anymore, but people WILL still want simple answers rather than answers that cover everything relevant that's known about the situation.
That is one factor to consider but if a federal app is only trusted by 20% of the population that is still better than if apps in states representing 20% of the population have a 50% uptake.
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Absolutely insane American government won’t implement this!!! It’s working really well here in Ireland! Getting 12-45 contacts a day in app (in settings) and no positives yet! Amazing little app! Just one question though do the devs need to update the api or will it work with the app right away? It’s insane in Ireland that it can’t be used in Northern Ireland because it’s in the UK. Same land but needs 2 apps that won’t work together it’s crazy, kinda like the states in America I guess. The level of stupidity in this is mind boggling.
The API 2.0 supporting interoperability between countries, and Bluetooth calibration will be critical and key for anyone now travelling to other countries and regions. I would hope updating to the new API could be done without government inspection and work but not likely reading this article.
 

FrankieTDouglas

macrumors 68000
Mar 10, 2005
1,530
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The amount of data collected with this is staggering, but if it's not misused, the ability of this API is beyond amazing.

Here's to not abusing and misusing it 🥂
It'll be abused and misused. People who are for this are incredibly shortsighted. How quickly some people want to bend over for more security theater, or even worse, even more data fed into the NSA.
 
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CarlJ

macrumors 601
Feb 23, 2004
4,521
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It'll be abused and misused. People who are for this are incredibly shortsighted. How quickly some people want to bend over for more security theater, or even worse, even more data fed into the NSA.
Please go READ THE SPEC and then explain exactly what path there is for abuse of the information that it actually collects - not what you are guessing it collects.

I hear a lot of people here making wild accusations about what this system will do when they have no ****ing clue how it actually works. If you’re going to make accusations and berate anyone who feels this design has merit, then explain how the information this is actually collecting can be misused.
 
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