Craig explains contact tracing and how Apple 13.7 and Google Android are using it to help respond in this Pandemic. 

For more tech tips, news, and updates visit – CraigPeterson.com

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Automated Machine-Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] A lot of Great comments about last week show, appreciate you guys joining us today. Of course, this is Craig Peterson and as usual, we’ve got a lot of technology to talk about and some security stuff as well. So here we go.

Emily: [00:00:19] And now, here’s Craig

Craig Peterson: [00:00:21] Hopefully you were able to join me earlier this week as I was on during drive time talking about many of these issues. We usually only get to talk about two or three, and you’ve probably seen in your newsletter email this morning, that most weeks we have, I don’t know eight. To 12 different topics that I think are really important.

So we get to a bunch of those today on the radio show. And of course, in my email, in that newsletter, I’ve been adding an Ask Craig’s section. You probably noticed that and these are some questions that people have asked me directly in response to the newsletter, or just like you guys can email me@craigpeterson.com anytime.

And I figured those are the things everybody really wants me to spend a little time on. So that’s exactly what I do. You’ll get those of course during the week.

Right now we’re going to be talking about this new iOS version. In fact, it might even talk about the one after that because that’s been hitting the news due to some critical flaws.

If you have a website and it is that time for elections and businesses to try and grow. If you’re a candidate or a business, or you are running a website for the local soccer club a year are gonna want to hear this about WordPress. And, we’ve got a really sad little story here about a mistake Apple made, but they cleaned up after themselves.

So that’s a little bit about what’s going on today. We’ve got more of that as well as we go forward. So let’s start with the whole iOS 13.7.

Those of us who’ve been using iOS for a while. We all know that we do get updates, right? That’s one of the real advantages to the Apple ecosystem over some of these others out there, particularly the Android.

 I know I can hear you guys now. Phew. Phew. In particular, Android, I use Android. In fact, I was chatting with a friend of mine. Who became a friend because he was a customer first. He was the chief technology officer for the state of New Hampshire. And I had done a whole bunch of stuff for the state over the years and had set up the nh.gov domain and all of the communications and everything.

It was interesting cause I hadn’t talked to him and. The better part of a decade, maybe even more. and he said, so what kind of phone do you have? He says you gotta have an Android. And I said, no, I don’t. Because he knows, I like to tinker with technology. And if you’re a tinkerer, Oh, that’s where the Android comes in handy. But the biggest problem with Android, and the main reason I don’t have one, are you just don’t get the updates. You don’t have the stability that you have in Apple Ecosystem for your Apple, your iOS devices, your iPhone.

Apple launched a new version of iOS here a little over a week ago. It was called 13.7. It adds a few different features, but one of the ones that really surprised everybody was something called notifications express. Now, remember we talked a few months ago about Apple and Google getting together and they came up with a methodology that could be used in order to track people that come in contact with each other. The idea behind it was, Hey, listen, we want to be able to let people know if they’ve come in contact with somebody that had COVID-19 symptoms.

You know the contact tracing stuff that you talking about now. Whether or not COVID-19 is, the killer that they want everybody to believe, or maybe something else is going on. That’s not the topic I’m going to get into right now. But what this does allow you to do is tie in for some of the contact tracing apps.

You may be familiar with Sturgis and the big motorcycle rally. They hold out there every year, even this year.  The complaints now that they’re a quarter-million new cases, actually it was a little higher than that of COVID-19 have been spread. It’s going to be a super spreader. There’s no hard evidence of that I’ve seen and I’ve read quite a few articles on it. No definitive studies, certainly at least not yet.

What does this all mean? It means if someone gets sick, they’re going to have to track it down. We’ve seen that happen in Europe, a lot. Look at New Zealand, for instance, they had a major outbreak. One person had COVID-19 symptoms and then apparently spread it to 13 others.

There’s another one just here in Maine that happened a few weeks back. Apparently these people had attended a wedding and then spread the COVID-19. There’s a number of deaths associated with that. The deaths were people that weren’t even at the event, but who got it from people who had been at the event and passed it all along.

Well, this is a new rollout from Apple second phase, we had software updates in may that included this application, programming interfaces, API to help public health authorities to develop their apps for their own use, for this purpose. We’ve had some countries that have already used that some in Eastern Europe, down in again, New Zealand they’ve been trying to track people that are part of this group that started this spread again. In fact, they locked down the whole country. Again, I’m not going to get into today. Oh, that’s for another show.

With the second phase, now, the authorities can get high tech exposure tracking without developing their own apps. So phase one, Apple added the API. So people well could write apps. Some third parties did write some apps.

Now they can do that the tracking without the API, Google has, this is not released in an Android software update yet. It does have its own version of exposure notifications express and later this month, Android six or later, devices are supposed to be able to get that update.

Again, the problem with Android, most devices will never have that update available to them. In this case, just like with Apple’s solution, they’re going to be able to get these notifications letting them know, they may have been exposed. This is built right into the operating system in the Apple iOS version, but in the Google world, Android users are to have to download an app.

We’ll see what happens, ultimately here, users who are in participating states are prompted there. They are said, Hey, listen, do you want to receive notifications? If the contact tracing app, if this app indicates that they may have been exposed and then the users advise on the next steps to take. That has to do with the user’s local public health authority. So far, we’ve got Maryland, Nevada, Virginia, and the district of Columbia participating in what’s called the exposure notifications express system. Yeah. More expected to come later. There are states such as, again, Virginia, North Dakota. I am my Hill mean Alabama, Arizona, Nevada, who all came up with their own apps or bought apps from third parties using this API.

We’ve got 20 countries that already have exposure tracking apps that they’re using. And we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens here. At least you’re given the option. It’s not like in China where you don’t have the option. You have to carry your smartphone and that smartphone does track you and does track your contacts. We’ll see.

 Ipads by the way, are not included in that. Now I mentioned at the beginning of this. Something about the next major version of iOS 14 and there is a whole lot of controversy about it. Apple has said that they’re going to push it out a little bit. We’ll see how far out that’ll be. They’re supposed to have a conference that has come in week one of their big Apple meetings, or they’re going to announce all the new stuff. We’ll see what iOS 14 has in it. Remember Apple does not make money off of selling information about you, does not sell your data the exact opposite of what Google does, right? Google, the people who gave us Android. So Apple doesn’t sell our data. Google is in the business of selling our data as quickly and as much of it as they possibly can. Another reason not to use Android.

 In this case now, with iOS 14, Apple is locking down your privacy even further and companies that are like Facebook, that also are in the business of selling your data are rather upset because what is going to happen with iOS 14, as it exists right now is they are going to totally squash the ability for these guys to track you.

That to me seems like a pretty big deal. We’ll see you ultimately, what ends up happening? 13.7, by the way, this really, yeah, just came out is probably the last update before 14 comes out. But who knows? There’ve been so many complaints from companies that are in the business of collecting and selling your data. It might still be a little while before that happens.

I want to give you guys a little tip, here again, I give this out and I should make this it’s an every week sort of thing. I’ll probably mention it again during the show today, but make sure you go to have I been poned.com. How have I been PWNED dot com there are features for businesses as well, but. You go there, you put in your email address, and just like I explained last week, it will tell you where on the dark web it finds your email address. It’ll tell you about the breaches that your email address might’ve been found in and also what data was stolen as part of that breach so that you know, and then really, I want everyone to remember. It’s a dangerous world out there. And it’s way more dangerous now that we have so many people working from home.

I’ve got another one. We’ll talk about a little bit later here called jigsaw.

But when we get back, we’re going to talk about a different kind of patch. I bet one, you may not have heard before, and if you’re a business, you’ve got to make sure that you stick around because we’ll be right back.

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