Apple and Google will not be able to track users by their systems in cellphones
A report by the US nonprofit human rights organization Electronic Frontier Foundation “EFF” previously stated that the smartphone-based contact tracking system developed by Apple and Google carries significant privacy risks.
The EFF previously stated that law enforcement agencies can use this system to track suspected crimes. Criminals themselves will be able to use Bluetooth identifiers to track the movement of certain people.
EFF also said fraudsters could massively undermine an entire contact tracking system with a stream of misleading data. Therefore, the EFF urged to “close the system” as soon as the crisis associated with the coronavirus ends.
In an EFF report, employees Bennett Ciphers and Jenny Gebhart state:
“Applications built on the new Apple and Google systems will not be a technological solution to change the current situation. Efficiency will depend on numerous compromises and sufficient trust for wide dissemination in society. Inadequate privacy protection will reduce this trust and thus undermine application performance. ”
The fact is that the system of tracking contacts between people was developed taking into account privacy. Bluetooth temporary identifiers, known as “RPIDs”, are changed several times per hour to minimize tracking. In addition, RPIDs will only be stored on the phones themselves.
Users must first log in and then select “their diagnostic data” if the coronavirus test yields a positive result.
Diagnostic keys can be used to create previously used RPIDs, and then other users can check these common RPIDs to see if they came across a person whose test turned out to be positive.
Google and Apple do not create applications that can use this system. Instead, they publish an “API” application interface so that third parties can use the system and make it accessible to ordinary users. EFF refers to half a dozen applications that are already in development and plan to use this API.
However, users can avoid the entire system by simply turning off Bluetooth on their phone.
Who really trust?
The EFF report says that the whole system is based on trust. Indeed, it is trust that underlies the Apple-Google system. It is reliable and not susceptible to attacks. Users must trust that developed applications using the system are safe and private, as well as the confidence that criminals and ordinary users will not abuse the system.
The EFF report says:
“There are many things that can go wrong, and too much is at stake to allow hasty, sloppy software. Health authorities and developers should take a step back and make sure they are doing everything right. ”
Apple and Google will still not be able to track the location of users.
Now, Reuters reported that applications using the API for tracking contacts between people will not be able to use the location data of the phones.
Reuters clarified that this refers to GPS-based location data, but Apple says that location tracking via cellular and Wi-Fi was also prohibited.
A Reuters article says that only one application in each country can use the API. It is also mentioned that applications will be developed exclusively by the health authorities in each country.
It is understood that no private applications developed without the participation of public health authorities will be able to use API technology. It is also alleged that Google and Apple will disable the system of notifications about the impact between people when it will no longer be urgently needed. "