Michigan Asks Google, Apple To Ensure Contact Tracing Apps Legit
The State of Michigan has joined a bi-partisan effort urging Apple and Google to ensure that all contact tracing apps serve an actual "public health purpose." All in all, 38 states have signed on to this document sent to the two tech giants.
This effort is directed at Google and Apple because they are behind the two most popular smart device operating systems (Google with Android and Apple's ios.)
The coalition of states is asking Google and Apple to guarantee that any of these types of apps, "when available to consumers, are affiliated with a public health authority and removed from Google Play and the Apple App Store once no longer needed by public health authorities."
What the states are saying is the technology to trace contacts can be valuable in analyzing the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic, but there could be lingering privacy issues.
Another of the concerns is about the providers of the apps, are they from questionable sources. The states claim certain "exposure notification apps available to consumers...particularly the 'free' apps that use GPS tracking, offer in-app purchases, and are not affiliated with any public health authority or legitimate research institution."
Here's what the state are asking of Google and Apple:
1. Make sure the apps in their app stores are legitimately connected to a "municipal, county, state or federal public health authority, or a hospital or university in the U.S."
2. Remove any apps that aren't.
3. Remove all these apps from their app stores if and when the pandemic ends.