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National COVID-19 server to use Apple and Google’s API, hosted by Microsoft

The Association of Public Health Laboratories has introduced an formidable new plan to construct a nationwide COVID-19 publicity notification server, which is able to run securely on Apple and Google’s API and be hosted by Microsoft.

In a weblog put up yesterday the affiliation acknowledged:

To restrict the unfold of COVID-19, data should journey quicker than the virus can. The scope and transmission charge of COVID-19 makes this a monumental problem for public well being businesses. Exposure notification expertise, nevertheless, is a possible sport changer. By offering fast alerts to people who might have been in shut proximity to somebody who has COVID-19, publicity notifications enable the unfold of data to keep one step forward.

The APHL says that it’s “taking a major step to support public health agencies that want to provide focused, privacy-preserving, and user-controlled exposure notifications at scale using the Apple | Google Exposure Notifications System.” It says its presence on the venture will give the US public well being group “a capable and accountable partner for hosting key components of this groundbreaking technology.”

FAQ: What is the Google-Apple COVID-19 (coronavirus) Exposure Notifications system?

The APHL will reap the benefits of Apple and Google’s safe, nameless publicity notification system:

Rather than every state and territorial public well being company bearing the burden of constructing and internet hosting its personal key servers, a nationwide server can securely host the keys of these affected customers, remove duplication and allow notifications throughout state borders. APHL can also be championing the trouble to construct and host a nationwide key server on behalf of the general public well being group. This will enable customers to regularly profit from publicity notifications as they journey throughout state traces, and assist state and territorial businesses deploy their apps shortly.

By internet hosting the keys of those that have acquired publicity notifications nationally, the system can remove duplication and enable for notifications throughout state borders, a extreme limitation of making apps on the state degree.

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Microsoft will help the group by internet hosting a server, based mostly on an open-source reference design created by Google Cloud:

Through Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, Microsoft will present cloud providers that can enable APHL to host the important thing server and securely allow interstate operability for the apps that public well being businesses deploy.

As with present publicity notification alerts, solely customers who obtain an app from a public well being company, and voluntarily opt-in can obtain notifications.

APHL president Bill Whitmar stated:

“We’re honored to partner with Apple, Google and Microsoft to make this groundbreaking technology accessible to state and territorial public health agencies. Apps using this technology will rapidly inform users of a potential exposure to COVID-19 and provide them information they can use to protect themselves and their families.”

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