Tim Cook: COVID-19 Contact Tracing API For iPhone Will Be Ready By April 28
Following a call between Apple CEO Tim Cook and the EU’s Thierry Breton, the latter told a press conference that Apple’s new contact tracing API will be ready for April 28. That’s just next week.
But that was perhaps not quite the most interesting news to come out of the meeting. It transpires that Breton believes that Apple has a “responsibility” to make sure that the contact tracing apps work on their iPhones.
It is “the responsibility of companies such as Apple to do their utmost to develop suitable technical solutions to make the national apps work. Coordination with EU member states’ health authorities is paramount,” Breton said in a statement.
The two did not talk about any specific case, an EU official said.
This follows something of a spat between Apple and French authorities with the country wanting Apple to relax iPhone privacy settings so as to allow its national contact tracing app to work. The issue appears to relate to the way the app wants to collect location data via Bluetooth while running in the background and then transmit it off-device. Something that iOS strictly forbids.
In its current state, the app would need to be running in the foreground with the device unlocked in order for the location tracing to function.
Both Apple and Google agreed two weeks ago that they would work together to make APIs to allow these apps to function.