Italy and Latvia Launch Apps That Use Apple's Exposure Notification API

European countries have begun to roll out COVID-19 contact tracing apps that take advantage of the Exposure Notification API designed by Apple and Google, with Italy and Latvia both launching new apps over the course of the last few days.

exposurenotificationapiitaly
As noted by MacStories' Federico Vittici, Italy today released Immuni, a privacy-focused contact tracing app that's designed to alert users if they've been exposed to COVID-19 through the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API.

The app requires express user consent to operate, letting users know that it uses Bluetooth Low Energy to log random ID contact with other users, with date, duration, and signal strength of an exposure shared with the app.

Latvia last week also released Apturi, its own privacy-forward contact tracing app that also takes advantage of the Apple/Google ‌Exposure Notification‌ API.

latviaexposurenotificationapi

It is based on a methodology developed by European scientists, including those from Latvia, and the new Bluetooth signal exchange algorithm developed by Google and Apple. Using it is voluntary. The app uses Bluetooth to anonymously detect nearby smartphones (within ~2 m proximity, present for longer than 15 minutes) that also have this app installed. This information is only kept on user's device, and automatically deleted after 14 days.

SPKC gets in touch with those individuals who have been confirmed to be a COVID-19 case - regardless of whether they use the app or not. SPKC receives this information from health institutions, not from the app. If the patient uses this app, SPKC will send them a code. When entered in the app, an anonymous notification will be sent to detected contacts that have been at risk to be infected. Sender's identity is not disclosed to recipients. Likewise, the infected individual does not know who the recipients are.

Latvia and Italy are the second and third countries, respectively, to introduce an app that uses Apple's API. Early last week, Switzerland released its "SwissCovid" app for members of the Swiss army, hospital workers, and civil servants. After testing, Switzerland is planning a wider rollout.

Apple released the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API as part of iOS 13.5. When it was released, Apple said that several U.S. states and 22 countries had requested and received access to the API, with more expected to join.

In the United States, there are no apps that use the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API at this time, but Alabama, South Carolina, and North Dakota have apps in the works that may soon see a release. It is not clear if other states will be on board, as some, such as Utah, have developed their own less private solution.

The ‌Exposure Notification‌ feature in iOS 13.5 is disabled by default and doesn't work without an app created by a public health authority and explicit user permission. The API is privacy-focused and collects no personally identifiable data or location information, with additional details available in our Exposure Notification guide.

Top Rated Comments

Sandstorm Avatar
18 months ago
I'm from Latvia and I'm very happy how successfully our government (and society in general) has reacted to this pandemic. Early action, support and trust in scientists, no stupid protests or riots - and we are literally down to zero new cases since yesterday. And we've been gradually reopening for some time already (cautiously monitoring situation, of course).

The app "Apturi Covid" ("Stop Covid") also looks good, installed day one. I have zero problems to trust this Apple/Google based temporary solution and, frankly, I trust our government too.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/05/13/coronavirus-pandemic-latvia-follows-lead-medical-experts-science/

https://eng.lsm.lv/article/society/health/no-new-cases-of-covid-19-confirmed-in-latvia.a362018/
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
18 months ago
As far as I know, Immuni (the Italian app) was initially not based on Google/Apple's API.

Glad to see sanity prevailing.


Downloaded the Italian app. No dark mode. Deleted.
You may prefer the intubation room, which is darker.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
18 months ago

Selling privacy for free to the Governments.
Can you cite an example or explain how one's privacy is affected by using Exposure Notification API?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
centauratlas Avatar
18 months ago

The source code of the Italian app can be found here on GitHub https://github.com/immuni-app/immuni-app-ios
This is key for a number of reasons, including (1) verifying it does what it says it does, (2) improving it, (3) finding bugs, and (4) applying it in other countries.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheOldChevy Avatar
18 months ago

So what is to stop some nefarious (teenagers) to download the app, put their status as positive, and go walk around as many malls / streets / other populated areas to send a whole bunch of false positive contacts? That sounds like something my friends definitely would have done when we were teenagers.
You need a specific code, available to medical personal only, to record a positive.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
User 6502 Avatar
18 months ago

Selling privacy for free to the Governments.
I think it’s time to remove your aluminium foil hat. Exposure notification api is very privacy focused, the government can’t get any data from it. And if you don’t believe it you can always read the code on GitHub… assuming you can read code.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
adobe photoshop sketch ipad

Adobe Removing Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw From App Store in July

Saturday June 26, 2021 4:02 pm PDT by
Adobe this week reminded customers that its Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw apps will no longer be available for download on iOS and Android starting July 19. Adobe plans to stop supporting the apps for existing users on January 10, 2022. In a support document, Adobe said users can easily migrate to its Fresco app, which combines many Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw drawing and...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
homepod feature blue2

Looking to Grab a HomePod Before They're Gone? These Retailers Still Have Stock

Monday March 15, 2021 6:54 am PDT by
Apple last week discontinued the original HomePod, marking just over three years on the market for the full-size smart speaker. If you're looking to purchase the larger HomePod before it's completely gone, there are still some options online today. The biggest retailer with remaining stock on the HomePod is Apple itself, which has the White HomePod for $299.00 on its website. Space Gray is...
september 2021 event ar logo

Apple's September 14 Event Page Features AR Logo on iPhone

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:23 am PDT by
Apple this morning announced a digital-only event that will be held on Tuesday, September 14, and if you view the event webpage on an iPhone, you can tap on the logo to open up Apple's Safari AR viewer and you'll see the three-dimensional logo move in real-time in the real world. Just open up the event site on an ‌iPhone‌ or iPad and tap right on the logo to open up the AR version. The...
iphone 11 night mode photos

Apple Reveals New Night Mode Photo Feature Exclusive to iPhone 11 Series

Tuesday September 10, 2019 12:23 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Max, all-new models that boast improved cameras, and specifically, a dramatic new Night Mode photo feature. Last year, Google introduced its impressive Night Sight camera mode, a software-based feature that allows users to take detailed pictures in dark environments using Google Pixel smartphones. Apple's new Night...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...