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COVID19: Tracking vs Privatsphäre

Test and trace with Apple and GoogleAfter the shutdown, the testing and tracing. ‚Trace, test and treat is the mantra … no lockdowns, no roadblocks and no restriction on movement‘ in South Korea. ‚To suppress and control the epidemic, countries must isolate, test, treat and trace,‘ say WHO. … What about us, in the rich democratic world? Are we OK with the Chinese model? Of course not. The South Korean model? …Probably not. The Singaporean model? …Maybe. … Needless to say, Apple and Google, purveyors of the OSes on all those phones, have essentially the same capability as and when they choose to exercise it. … Android and iOS could, and should, add and roll out privacy-preserving, interoperable, TraceTogether-like functionality at the OS level… Apple and Google are also much better suited to the task of preserving privacy by ‚anonymizing‚ data sets… Obviously this should all be well and firmly regulated. But at the same time, we should remain cognizant of the fact that not every nation believes in such regulation. … Compared to the other alternatives – government surveillance; the phone companies; or some new app, with all the concomitant friction and barriers to usage – Apple and Google are by some distance the least objectionable option.“


UPDATE: Apple & Google vs COVID19

„Apple and Google are building a coronavirus tracking system into iOS and Android – Potentially a huge step forward in the fight against COVID-19 – 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. … Apple and Google will introduce a pair of iOS and Android APIs in mid-May and make sure these health authorities’ apps can implement them. … The system also takes a number of steps to prevent people from being identified, even after they’ve shared their data. … Crucially, there is no centrally accessible master list of which phones have matched, contagious or otherwise.“

The Verge

„Apple und Google verbünden sich für Corona-Projekt – Die beiden rivalisierenden Technologiegiganten werden inmitten der Pandemie zu Partnern. Und versprechen eine Lösung, in der Datenschutz oberste Priorität haben soll. – Der Ansatz von Apple und Google unterscheidet sich aber insofern, weil die beiden Konzerne die Software direkt in ihre Smartphone-Betriebssysteme einbauen wollen. Und das würde auf einen Schlag einen gewaltigen potentiellen Anwenderkreis erschließen, denn fast alle Smartphones auf der Welt laufen entweder mit dem Apple-Betriebssystem iOS oder mit der Google-Software Android.“


„Contact tracing can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and can be done without compromising user privacy. We’re working with @sundarpichai & @Google to help health officials harness Bluetooth technology in a way that also respects transparency & consent.“

Tim CookApples Pressemitteilung

„To help public health officials slow the spread of #COVID19, Google & @Apple are working on a contact tracing approach designed with strong controls and protections for user privacy. @tim_cook and I are committed to working together on these efforts.“

Sundar PichaiGoogles Pressemitteilung

COVID19: Arbeit und Arbeitslosigkeit

Record Jobless Claims Are Overwhelming States‘ Aging TechLaid-off workers struggle to file claims for unemployment benefits; economists say the situation will likely get worse.“


„Candor: 267 companies have frozen hiring, 44 had layoffs, 36 rescinded offers, 111 are hiring – The COVID-19 has taken a toll on the workforce, and you can now see a list of who’s hiring, freezing hires, laying people off, and rescinding job offers, according to crowdsourced data from Candor, a company that helps tech workers negotiate salaries. In a matter of hours, the list of more than 400 companies posted in the past day went viral, with hundreds of new tips submitted from job seekers, employees, recruiters, and VCs.“


COVID19: Wirtschaft und Zukunft

„How COVID-19 is changing public perception of big tech companies – The backlash against tech giants may not be over – but at the very least it’s on pause.“

The Verge

Airbnb to Halt All Marketing, Most Hiring as Losses Mount – Airbnb plans to halt all of its marketing, pause most hiring, and likely withhold employee bonuses as it tries to conserve cash amid a slide in bookings, CEO Brian Chesky told employees in a video conference call Thursday, a person familiar with the matter said.“

The Information

„Who owns coronavirus.com? Behind the lucrative profiteering on website domains – That domain name, more attractive with .com than .org, is reportedly owned by the domain registrar GoDaddy, which acquired it as part of a deal unrelated to the current outbreak and which currently forward visitors to the World Health Organization’s website.“


„How China Built a Twitter Propaganda Machine Then Let It Loose on Coronavirus – ProPublica analyzed thousands of fake and hijacked Twitter accounts to understand how covert Chinese propaganda spreads around the globe.“


Google spendet 800 Millionen US$

Google donates $800 million in cash and ads to fight coronavirus – Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Friday that his company is donating more than $800 million in cash and advertising to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus and ease the impact on small businesses.“


Apple COVID19 App und Website

Apple releases new COVID-19 app and website based on CDC guidance – Tools Offer Up-to-Date Guidance and Information for People Across the US.“


Microsoft Azure wächst rasant

„Coronavirus has led to a 775 percent increase in usage of Microsoft Azure cloud services – In regions where there are isolation and home sheltering orders in place, Microsoft says that there has been a colossal 775 percent increase in usage of its cloud services. Despite the surge in demand, there have not been any significant service disruptions.“