Team members and customers wear protective masks in front of an Apple store, as Switzerland facilitates blocking measures during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 13, 2020. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann
LONDON (Reuters) – Apple (AAPL.O) and Google (GOOGL.O) said they continued to talk to the British government about the technology used in the COVID-19 contact tracking application for smartphones, while the two companies launched the initial version of their own system.
Britain has started testing an application that matches contacts on a centralized server, instead of the decentralized model preferred by Apple and Google, where matches take place on users' devices.
A centralized app can potentially provide more information about the outbreaks of COVID-19, but it offers less privacy than decentralized rivals, said the head of the UK program earlier this month.
Company officials who discussed the launch of Apple-Google exposure notification technology to public health officials said they continued talking to the British health service, while evaluating several different approaches.
Reporting by Paul Sandle; Edition by Kirsten Donovan