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Huawei launches its own COVID-19 contact tracing API, rolling out with HMS Core update

Huawei is rolling out a new HMS Core (Huawei Mobile Services Core) app update, which brings Huawei’s new Contact Shield APIs to provide fundamental capabilities to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. You can download the latest HMS Core APK from our application page.

According to Huawei, the HMS Core Contact Shield provides privacy-protecting contact tracing services for Huawei device users. It utilizes the Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology to detect nearby devices, exchange data with detected devices, and record contacts with user information anonymized.

In work, Contact Shield uses the BLE technology to anonymously record nearby people with whom a user has contact with. Once a contacted person is tested positive for COVID-19, the user will be notified and instructed to take proper measures.

Huawei Phone with Logo

Huawei device users are required to update on HMS Core version 4.1 or later version to support this service. If not found, users will be instructed to update to the latest version.

Since contact tracing APIs relates to the user privacy and sensitive information, Huawei has mentioned the following privacy protection protocols and options of Contact Shield API:

  • Users can determine whether to enable Contact Shield, whether to upload anonymous identifiers to the cloud, and whether to obtain diagnosis results by themselves.
  • Using anonymous identifiers will not record or store any personal information such as user locations. These identifiers will only be stored for 14 days.
  • After a user uninstalls your app, the user’s historical data stored on the device will be deleted. A user can also manually delete all historical data.
  • Only developers authorized by governments and strictly assessed by Huawei can use Contact Shield APIs to develop apps.
  • Huawei will sign an additional service agreement stating the user privacy protection requirements with eligible developers.

The latest HMS Core update is just released for the Huawei and Honor smartphone users and makes a way to the global developer to use this Contact Shield API on their contact tracing apps. However, apps with this API are yet to appear on AppGallery.

Back in April, it was reported that Huawei phones launched before the US restrictions, will get access to Google’s new COVID-19 tracing API.

This tracking technology is jointly developed by Google and Apple to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus.

 

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