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Apple, Google Rework COVID-19 Tracking Tech Amid Privacy Concerns

People fear privacy over health

As companies and governments around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic, Apple and Google are making changes to the contact-tracing technology they've developed to help inform people when they may have been exposed to the virus.

The contact-tracing technology, which the two companies have been working on for a little over a month, was initially designed to help people alert one another if someone with whom they were in contact over a 14-day period was diagnosed with the COVID-19. When the project was first announced, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google head Sundar Pichai promised the technology would be built with privacy in mind.

The technology basically works by helping Apple iPhones or devices powered by Google's Android software communicate with one another. They do this by sending signals to one another over Bluetooth radio that are stored on the phones. If someone is then confirmed as having the coronavirus, their phones send out a new signal alerting all the phones with whom they'd come in contact over the preceding 14 days. 

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