Apple issued the latest iOS 13.5, which is crucial in these trying times due to the iPhone updates that feature COVID-19 Exposure Notifications API. However, users are worried that the contact tracing feature will leak their personal information.
Exposure Notification API is a project by Google and Apple in an attempt to help iOS users cope up with the on-going coronavirus pandemic. Both companies assured that they considered privacy before creating this feature. No personal health data will be leaked to the health authorities.
Exposure Notification API feature
Despite the statement, iPhone users are still afraid to upgrade to the latest iOS 13.5 version due to the rumors circulating online that the exposure notification will go directly to the health authorities.
For starters, the API is baked into firmware. However, Apple didn’t install its tracking application. Anyone who wants to download the official app will have to see the public health official agency before the Exposure Notification feature functions on their iPhones.
Furthermore, only limited states in the U.S. are allowed to utilize the contact tracing application using API.
Apple highlights that upgrading to iOS 13.5 version is safe, and all health data will be protected.
What’s new in iOS 13.5?
Apple responded to the on-going pandemic by integrating COVID-19 features on the latest iOS 13.5 version. The Face ID authentication can detect when the user wears a face mask. In turn, it automatically switches to the manual passcode screen, allowing them to unlock the phone in seconds.
As for the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications, it works by sending out unknown Bluetooth beacons on phones that have turned on this feature.
The phone will store the log of beacons of everyone they have encountered with. Hence, when someone is diagnosed positive of the coronavirus, they can enter the verified case into the application. Every person they have encountered for the last two weeks will be notified for testing and treatment by the health authorities.
Apple further reiterates that there will be no unsolicited transmission of health data. The upgrade to iOS 13.5 will ensure that the beacon gets changed every ten minutes.
Anyone who calls 911 can automatically share their health information with the authorities. However, turning on this feature is only optional. It is ideal for people who are taking particular medicines, have allergies, or existing medical problems. That way, the responders will know what to do once the information reaches the doctors and paramedics.
Apple aims to help its users cope up with the on-going pandemic with their latest features. The iOS 13.5 version is now available for installation.