Abandoning Apple Google’s new Crown Contacter Tracking API Utah Chooses Social Startup to Develop App

Utah has turned down the Apple-Google’s Exposure Notification framework in favor of a less private new crown contact tracking app developed by social media start-up Twenty,media reported. Digital contact tracking or using software to track and contain the spread of diseases such as new coronary pneumonia is seen as a way to get rid of current social distance and home isolation.

Abandoning Apple Google's new Crown Contacter Tracking API Utah Chooses Social Startup to Develop App

Last month, Apple and Google announced a development framework that would allow public health organizations to create their own contact tracking apps. A few weeks later, Utah released an app called Healthy Together.

Although the ultimate goal of both solutions is the same, the system takes a very different approach. Healthy Together was developed by a company called Twenty, which is known for its apps for young people to meet face-to-face. Unlike the Apple-Google API, Utah’s contact tracking solution relies on personally identifiable information.

Some of the data collected by Healthy Together includes GPS, cell tower location data and Bluetooth signal data. It will also ask for access to a user’s mobile phone contact, according to lawfare, a Us national security blog. Healthy Together’s privacy policy states that the data may be shared with public health officials and a “limited number” of Twenty developers.

This is in stark contrast to the Apple-Google API, which relies on anonymous Bluetooth identifiers to store data locally only on the user’s device. Apple-Google’s solution is not an app but a toolkit that WHO can use to develop its own tracking notification app.

Utah state officials said on the government’s website that the information provided by Bluetooth technology alone is inaccurate. That’s why GPS location data is added to this mix and why it’s refusing to use the Apple-Google Framework.

Twenty’s founder told CNBC that the app offers optional options for users to choose to restrict Bluetooth and location service licenses. He added that all data stored on 20 servers would be deleted after 30 days.

Such an app is not expected to be welcomed by privacy experts and civil liberties advocates, who have been concerned about large-scale location monitoring. Although the Apple-Google solution is not perfect, it emphasizes protecting user privacy.

It’s also worth noting that Together Health’s productivity in the background may be reduced by the rejection of the Apple-Google API and the security restrictions built into iOS.

Some early surveys suggest that Americans seem skeptical of this contact-tracking practice. Technical experts generally agree that trust will be crucial when public health organizations try to reach a 60 per cent adoption rate.

A Utah public health spokesman told CNBC that the personally identifiable location data used by Healthy Together makes the 60 percent adoption threshold less necessary.

Right now, Healthy Together is testing. Twenty eventually wanted to sell the app and its back end to other states and private companies.

In addition to digital contact tracking, Healthy Together provides resources, testing facilities, and a feature that lets users see their test results in the app.