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This Time Is Different

Apple and Google want to track people for contact-tracing; no pushback. U.S. attorney generals are not concerned. And some European governments will willingly work with Apple and Google. Interestingly, the tech firms are like saying, “No way - we cannot trust you on the privacy of our users”. If switching a button will let you know when you have been in close proximity, passively or actively, with someone with a deadly virus, many will sign up.  People, Covid-19 will unlock new sectors and opportunities, the world is already changing!

Again we have the young entrepreneurs who are trying to build something across sectors. Many have realized that there are no jobs hiding anywhere and that an engineer can actually be a great tailor. Some are in the tech space hoping to hit the next Airbnb-kind-of-idea, or become the next Mark Zuckerberg. A few have gotten some investment and exposure here and there. However, the story remains the same: young Africans generally feel betrayed and somewhat helpless, lacking opportunities and access to capital, and those in Lagos are not left out of this dilemma.

This is how CNBC explained the feature.

Apple and Google, normally arch-rivals, announced on Friday that they teamed up to build technology that enables public health agencies to write contact-tracing apps. The partnership is being closely watched: The two Silicon Valley giants are responsible for the two dominant mobile operating systems globally, iOS and Android, which together run almost 100% of smartphones sold, according to data from Statcounter…The fact that the apps work best when a lot of people use them have raised fears that governments could force citizens to use them. But representatives from both companies insist they won’t allow the technology to become mandatory…

The way the system is envisioned, when someone tests positive for Covid-19, local public health agencies will verify the test, then use these apps to notify anybody who may have been within 10 or 15 feet of them in the past few weeks. The identity of the person who tested positive would never be revealed to the companies or to other users; their identity would be tracked using scrambled codes on phones that are unlocked only when they test positive. Only public health authorities will be allowed access these APIs, the companies said. The two companies have drawn a line in the sand in one area: Governments will not be able to require its citizens to use contact-tracing software built with these APIs — users will have to opt-in to the system, senior representatives said on Monday.

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