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Apple and Google phones to reveal if you’ve been near someone who has coronavirus

Apple and Google phones to reveal if you’ve been near someone who has coronavirus

Business
Apple and Google have announced they are working together to create contact tracing technology aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus.In a rare collaboration, the two companies - whose operating systems power 99% of the world's smartphones - plan to add new software to devices to make it easier to track down people who may have been infected with COVID-19. To be effective, the system would require millions of people to opt into the system and trust the technology giants' safeguards. Image: Google and Apple's operating systems power 99% of the world's smartphones Under the plan, smartphones with the contact tracing technology will emit unique Bluetooth signals. Phones within about 6ft can then record anonymous information about the...
Coronavirus: Apple and Google team up to contact trace Covid-19

Coronavirus: Apple and Google team up to contact trace Covid-19

Technology
Apple and Google are jointly developing technology to alert people if they have recently come into contact with others found to be infected with coronavirus.They hope to initially help third-party contact-tracing apps run efficiently.But ultimately, they aim to do away with the need to download dedicated apps, to encourage the practice.The two companies believe their approach - designed to keep users, whose participation would be voluntary, anonymous - addresses privacy concerns.Their contact-tracing method would work by using a smartphone's Bluetooth signals to determine to whom the owner had recently been in proximity for long enough to have established contagion a risk.If one of those people later tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, a warning would...
Coronavirus: Google data suggests park visits rose on weekend

Coronavirus: Google data suggests park visits rose on weekend

Technology
Visits to parks increased last weekend, according to activity data from Google, but were still less common than usual.The tech giant has released its second set of reports looking at activity in 131 countries during the pandemic.Its UK report suggests far fewer people have been going out compared to life before lockdown, but visits to parks increased during last weekend's warm weather.There was also an increase in use of transport hubs and food stores.Google has been collecting location data from people who have opted into Location History tracking. It is using this to produce reports that show how busy areas are compared to a period earlier in the year. The data only shows people's activity in aggregate and not specific individuals' behaviours. But it do...
Google data shows how people’s movements have changed since outbreak

Google data shows how people’s movements have changed since outbreak

Technology
Visits to shops, museums and cafes in the UK have fallen by 85% since the coronavirus outbreak, according to data shared by Google. The technology firm's anonymised data of people's locations provides an insight into how the public are moving around during the pandemic. The information comes from products such as Google Maps, the company said. During the period between 16 February and 29 March, visits by people in the UK to retail and recreation locations, such as restaurants, shopping centres and galleries dropped by 85%.Trips to outdoor spaces such as parks and beaches fell 52%. ...
Coronavirus: Google reveals travel habits during the pandemic

Coronavirus: Google reveals travel habits during the pandemic

Technology
Google is to publicly track people's movements over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.The tech firm will publish details of the different types of places people are going to on a county-by-county basis in the UK, as well as similar data for 130 other countries.The plan is to issue a regular updates with the figures referring back to activity from two or three days prior.The company has promised that individuals' privacy will be preserved.The readings are based on location data gathered via the Google Maps app or one of the firm's other mobile services. The firm typically uses this to reveal when specific museums, shops and other places are busiest as well as to revise driving routes to help motorists avoid traffic. ...