How to Enable and Disable COVID19 Exposure Notifications on iPhone
Apple and Google have teamed up to help governments and health authorities in the fight against the SARS-COV2/COVID-19 pandemic by releasing the first version of their COVID-19 exposure notification API for iOS and Android devices. For iPhone users, this arrives as a COVID-19 exposure logging feature in iOS 13.5 and then that may eventually be paired with regional apps for contact tracing.
Previously known as the Contact Tracing API, the tech giants aim to help developers working for health authorities create apps that can alert users if they have been in contact with an infected person. This is possible by using Bluetooth to securely share your random IDs with nearby devices and collect their IDs. These IDs are removed after 14 days, which is the above-average incubation period for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease.
It is up to you to decide whether you want to opt for this anonymous registration and notification system. In this article, we will discuss how you can enable or disable COVID-19 exposure logging and notifications on your iPhone.
How to Enable and Disable COVID19 Exposure Logging and Notifications on iPhone
This feature is available for iPhone with iOS 13.5 and later, older devices will not have this functionality. Note that you will also need an app from a health authority to use this feature, and the availability of such apps depends on many factors, including regional support.
- Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone or iPad.
- In the Settings menu, scroll down and tap “Privacy.”
- Under Privacy Settings, tap “Health.”
- Here, you will see the option for COVID-19 Exposure Notifications / “Exposure Log” right at the top. Tap on it.
- Use the toggle to enable or disable it based on your preferences at any time.
That’s pretty much all there is to enabling and disabling COVID-19 exposure logging and notifications on your iPhone.
Apple says users will have the explicit option to activate the technology once it launches. Once enabled, and combined with an eligible contact tracing app, public health agencies can quickly inform users if they have been in contact with an infected person through their respective apps. With this API, they can determine how long users were close and the approximate distance between their devices using the strength of the Bluetooth signal.
The current version of COVID-19 Exposure Notification API is a developer-focused release and apps will take advantage of it sooner rather than later to combat the pandemic situation. However, contact tracing may be introduced at the system level in the second phase of this program’s rollout later this year and will work without a third-party health authority app.
COVID-19-19 Exposure Notification System does not collect device location data and does not share other users’ identities with each other, according to Google and Apple. Users have full control over the data they want to share, if they choose to share it.
It’s also worth mentioning that not all states, countries, and health authorities will use this API, so even if you enable (or disable) the feature, if you are in an unsupported area you may not find that the app has some functionality. Which states, countries, and health authorities are using this Google and Apple feature is also likely to vary over time.
If you’d like to learn more about this feature and the Exposure API, you can read more on the Apple.com contact tracing page, and you can also learn more generally about what Apple is doing regarding COVID-19 on the COVID-19 page here.
Did you choose to enable or disable COVID-19 exposure logging and notifications? Do you think Apple and Google’s implementation of this technology will be of great help to the government in tracking infected cases? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.