Apple and Google sitting in a tree...

Posted on Apr 11, 2020

There is an interesting “partnership” between Apple and Google brewing. If they are working on a privacy-centric solution to contact tracing in pandemic times, then I am all for it. Apple’s involvement gives me some sort of assurance that privacy will be preserved, compared to a Google only initiative. The draft specifications are already out for everyone to check out.

This “collaboration” is not different from Google’s support of Apple’s SMS-based OTP proposal, nor is it any different from both companies agreeing on open standards. The only way a standard can be widely deployed is to get every player on board - regardless of each player’s intention and business model – and pushing for this means getting the biggest players to sit down and agree.

Does recognizing your competitors mean legitimizing their business models? Does working with your competitors on a standard automatically legitimizes their business models?

Currently, Apple and Google will be implementing this contact tracing APIs. So, if LineageOS, Purism, GrapheneOS and all other privacy-centric mobile OS out there, join and implement the same APIs, does it mean that they legitimize Google’s surveillance capitalistic nature?