Spain will join the bandwagon of Germany, Switzerland and Italy with the launch of an application for mobile phones that will allow them to trace contacts with people infected with coronavirus and thus stop their spread. The Government will resort, for this, to the system of Apple and Google, as El Confidencial has learned.
The sources consulted by the newspaper assure that the work is in a very advanced phase. Engineers from different companies, including Telefónica, have participated in its development. Teams from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (Switzerland) have also participated, who created the decentralized protocol DP3T.
The objective of the Government, which decreed the state of alarm for the expansion of the coronavirus during the month of March, is to test the operation of this application in the Canary Islands, as explained by Nadia Calviño, Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation. The pilot project would start operating next June.
The Confidencial, which mentions sources close to the government’s plan, points out that the next step is to connect the application with the sanitary systems. The newspaper also indicates that the creation of a national registry is currently being evaluated, instead of being commissioned by each Autonomous Community.
This is how the API of Google and Apple works to combat the coronavirus
The Apple and Google system was introduced in late April. It uses the Bluetooth connectivity present in millions of smartphones to detect when a person has been in contact with a coronavirus infected long enough to have been infected.
The operation of the system designed by Apple and Google is as follows:
When starting the system, the mobiles will generate an alphanumeric series that will act as an identifier. These series will be broadcast abroad through Bluetooth connectivity. To protect the privacy of users, the identifier of each smartphone will change periodically.
In parallel, all mobile phones that have activated this system will also begin to collect the identifiers issued by the smartphones located around them. These identifiers are stored in the memory of the device for a period of 14 days.
If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they will be able to upload to a server managed by the Government all the identifiers that their smartphone has issued abroad during the previous days.
The rest of the people will be able to check –through the application developed by the Government– if any of the identifiers captured by their smartphones matches those available on the server. If that were the case, your mobile phone would inform you that you have been close to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. The next step would be to contact the corresponding health personnel and follow their recommendations.
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