Apple, Google promise better coronavirus tracking with 'exposure notifications express'

From CNET: Apple and Google want to make it easier for health agencies to join its coronavirus exposure notification system, creating a new option that will allow them to help people track and alert one another about coronavirus infections without having to build an app.

The new option, called exposure notifications express, will allow people to join Apple's and Google's coronavirus notifications without needing to download an app from their local health department. This, the two companies said, will help spread adoption without putting pressure on health officials, some of whom have told the tech companies they don't have the resources to build an app.

Apple made the updates available for its iPhones and iPads with the iOS 13.7 release Tuesday, and Google says it'll make the new system available for devices running Android 6.0 or higher with an update later this month.

"We are making it easier and faster for them to use the Exposure Notifications System without the need for them to build and maintain an app," the two companies said in a joint statement. The companies said they'll continue to support public health authorities that have built their own apps, as in Canada, but are building this new system to help authorities that aren't able to build them. "Exposure Notifications Express provides another option for public health authorities to supplement their existing contact tracing operations with technology without compromising on the project's core tenets of user privacy and security."

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