TOTW №10 Apple and Google are building a coronavirus tracking system into iOS and Android

Hello, IoTeX community!

Just recently, news came out from two tech giants on a new initiative pertaining to our privacy and the collection of health information. Apple and Google announced a system for tracking the spread of the new coronavirus, allowing users to share data through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmissions and approved apps from health organizations. Official apps from public health authorities will get access to this data, and users who download them can report if they’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19. The system will also alert people who download them to whether they were in close contact with an infected person.

Read the full article here :arrow_right:

In this week’s discussion, we would like you to share your thoughts on this initiative, how do you feel of being “monitored” all the time and whether you think your data will be used for the right reasons?

:pushpin: Submit your answers by Monday, April 20, 6 AM PST to be eligible for rewards

:moneybag: Rewards: Most interesting 3 answers will receive 1,000 IOTX EACH + all of the participants will be entered in the community scoreboard for March
{Make sure to include your Telegram ID}

You can post more than once but make sure to share different stories/use cases, do not duplicate posts. Feel free to comment & reply to posts from other community members.


Common people instead of different frauders don’t know where should they expect the possible problems of unsafety and lack of privacy. We know, for instance, that some criminals use info about vacations from social networks to know the best time for home burglary. If I didn’t see the article with statistics about that, I would never even imagine that. So criminals think differently, and people should keep that in mind every time they share their private data. I think it is very unsafe when data corporations motivate people for sharing information about their health, very unsafe!

Telegram… @bez_nicka


I feel it has both Pros and Cons:


  1. Yes, it can help to identify the possible Covid infections, this will be successful only when covid infected person’s details are updated properly.


  1. Users may not know How really These companies are going to use customers data. Companies resposible for “Full transparency about how the apps and the APIs operate, including open source code, is necessary for people to understand, and give their informed consent to the risks”

  2. This model places less trust in a central authority, but it creates new risks to users who share their infection status that must be mitigated or accepted

  3. Not everyone is educated to use the app.

Telegram : @murugan25589


It is a good initiative especially helping in the area of contact tracing for COVID-19 and help preventing the spread of the disease. The technology being bluetooth enabled rather GPS, the issue of user location tracing at any specified time is addressed. :compass:
The demerits of the technology overwhelmed the advantages, though Sundar Pichai claiming that the app is to be designed with strong controls and protections for user privacy and also Tim Cook affirmed that this app can help slow the spread of COVID-19 through contact tracing and can be done without compromising user privacy but the genunity of these claims are much doubtful. The technology that will be designed with such an high precision in tracing contact on COVID-19 infected persons will leave less in doubt of accessing other private information in individual device. :calling:
Flagging people in adjacent rooms by these apps who are not sharing space with the user in a crowded areas though have an advantage but will need more privacy information to pin them down having revealed their COVID-19 status especially when positive. :dancing_men: :man_with_probing_cane: :man_dancing: :biking_man: :mountain_biking_woman: :swimming_man: :person_climbing: :man_in_manual_wheelchair: :surfing_man: :cloud:
Since the effectiveness of these apps depend on internet connectivity call for concern due to at times low connection, intermittent connection and unavailable of internet at a point in time in highly connected locations and outright unavailability of internet connection in some local areas. :iphone: :calling:

Telegram Id: @tadex01


The situation with coronavirus can be viewed from two sides. We completely exclude the version that the pandemic was created on purpose.

The implantation of various programs, chips, passes, tracking is of course very good. This option will quickly stop the spread of the virus. Although the implantation of such programs may take some time and money. :moneybag: :timer_clock:

On the other hand, it is a violation of constitutional rights and general human rights. In any case, until such changes are implantation into constitutions.

But here we are, unfortunately, in no way affect any decision. Our decision is to stay home and not meet with the police so as not to pay heavy fines. :moneybag: :sweat_smile: :rage: :policeman:



If we analyze it, recently quite a lot of forced measures are being taken to combat the spread of the virus. We cannot know for sure whether they will positively affect our life in general or negatively. One thing is certain for sure - the world will never be the same.

I think that such a global situation was beneficial for the government, or giants, and now they are conducting a series of forced actions to control the entire population. Agree that it could be better, because now people can voluntarily agree to various measures, if only quarantine is over and return to their previous lives. :mask:

Unfortunately, such desires can lead us to forget all about privacy and personal data. :disappointed_relieved:



Looking at the whole proposed solution critically, it is never be an even half way efficient without breaches of privacy so far ones device that stored personal data is involved, that is a mobile device. This make the entire solution vague, the present impact of COVID19 pandemic may push the decision corporate makers to accept this half baked offer, but the life time deleterious effect and losses can never be quantified even the world to come. :bomb: :hole:
My advice to final umpires is not to rush in accepting this offer, but to call for more opened researches both in the area of preventive and curative measures to this global pandemic that is causing an unimaginable havoc to the entire human race. :pill: :bomb: :tornado: :cloud_with_lightning_and_rain: I believe in no distant time there will a varieties of discoveries that will be crystal clear and free from raising any uncertainty of losing personal information to be accepted and approved. :hourglass: :dark_sunglasses: :gem: :milk_glass: :hourglass_flowing_sand:

Telegram ID- @SangosanyaM


I don’t think my data is safe on Google or Apple. It’s no longer a secret that our data is misused. Blockchain can also be a great alternative at this point, since the data is only transferred peer to peer and stored anonymously on a blockchain. In this context, I have to think of the partnership between IoTeX and XYO. I am sure that you can develop an interesting alternative that can protect us from the next data scandal. Users of such an app should be paid for the anonymized data and be able to determine whether they want to monetize their data or not.

Apart from that, such a technology could also be used for many other interesting applications. For example, one could develop an app that uses location data to connect people with common interests. All of this, of course, without feeding data with Google, Apple and Co.

A dating app could also be interesting. For example, if interests and location data often meet, a match could be triggered.

Anyway. The possibilities would be limitless and all without data sufferers like GAFA.

TG: @altcoin_maximalist


In addition, a new article just came out on this

A well-designed tool would give people actionable medical information while also protecting privacy and giving users control, but a poorly designed one could pose unnecessary and significant risks to privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.



I rather assign my meat custody to a rat, than to trust my health data to those entities.

I am not in doubt the fireworks going off in the minds of data harvesters in celebration of public monitoring opportunities that came with coronavirus. But “every victory is won before the battle even begins”. Privacy is our fundamental rights - regardless of the coronavirus outbreak.

If nothing, the outbreak is pushing for more blockchain adoption in other to optimize infectious disease. Yes, surveillance - contact tracing and immunity tracking applications will become the new normal, but it also gives blockchain technologies that embed privacy by design advantage to thrive.

I think if people can share their personal data for an incentive of some sort, they shouldn’t have problems sharing their data for a priceless worth. BUT they want to do it in a freedom tool system that gives them that freedom of choice, “to share or not to share”, “to whom to and to whom not to” etc. The good news is that many of the proposed solutions are been refined towards user control and privacy to avoid third-party data grabs.

TG: @c_okenwa


The idea is very cool, especially because the developers of the two main mobile OSS are United for the common good, but:

  1. the API will be introduced only in mid-may, after which mobile app developers will only start implementing it;
  2. you need to install the App in advance, and you will only know that you have contacted an infected person if they inform you about it in the app and if they already had it when you contacted them;
  3. Bluetooth can hook people behind the wall who have not been in contact with the patient. And in General, a hundred people can notify who was with him in the store, and he did not spread anything, and everyone will run to do the analysis just like that, catching the virus in the hospital.
1 Like

And by the way, I congratulate everyone on the Easter holiday!!!

For this particular initiative, I would hope the data is being used for the right reason, but you cannot count on it. My guess is that there will be unwitting participants due to “glitches.” They will have auto opted-in. Also we’ve seen the likes of Facebook and other tech giants expose user private data before, this is just another increase in the threat surface for end-users from a cybersecurity perspective.

The other issue is what does this open the door to from a surveillance standpoint? For most people the idea of being tracked just makes one feel uneasy. Surveillance at this scale gives me a very Orwellian feeling. If you’ve read the book '1984", then you will know what I’m referring to.

I know they mean well, but we’ve all seen Black Mirror, these things never end well.


Data sharing through whatever means is really a very sensitive issue that must be handled with utmost care. More so, a third part having access to those data surely means that privacy is never guaranteed.

Their intension might be genuine ( fighting a good course Covid-19) and considering the fact that the initiative is coming from two tech giant, many wouldn’t mind trading away their privacy for nothing without asking the most realistic question.

How accurate can this tracking system be? The report, the alert or will it end up creating more panic among people amidst the pandemic which is definitely not what the world needs at a time like this.



Hi guys! Thank you to all that have participated in this discussion!

Here are the winners of this thread:


Please check your wallets & join our next discussion :arrow_right: TOTW№12: Surveillance Capitalism VS. Privacy By Design - Special Report by IoTeX


Thank you very much :kissing_heart:

1 Like

wow! thank you so much!

1 Like