Tech giants Apple and Google released an initial version of their software tool that will make it possible for 23 nations to release coronavirus contact-tracing apps. It will alert users when they came into contact with people who were COVID-19 positive. But authorities would have to stop requiring phone numbers from users under the companies’ rules.
Apple and Google said several US states and 22 countries have sought access to their technology, but it is unclear how many will end up publishing mobile apps that use it. It could help authorities test more potentially infected individuals than they would normally be able to based on patients recalling recent interactions from memory.