Swiss authorities have launched a contact-tracing app it hopes will stymie the spread of Coronavirus – the first to use Google and Apple’s tracing API.
“SwissCovid”, currently in its pilot phase, will first be available to military, healthcare and civil-service workers. It uses Bluetooth to register proximity to other phones. If somebody has COVID-19, and registers it with the app, all others who have been within two meters of the user are notified.
Srdjan Capkun, a SwissCovid developer, said the app will be rolled out to the general public next month. Its pilot will weed out any “teething problems” with Google and Apple’s “exposure notification” API, which launched a week ago.
Since that launch, Apple says the API has been approached for use by 22 organizations – though it refuses to name them. France and Germany have chosen to build their own contact-tracing apps to centralize user data.
“In our design, information is processed locally and all data are automatically deleted after 21 days,” Capkun told Business Insider. “In addition, no user personal data is stored centrally, and contact tracing data never leaves the phone unless authorized by the user.”