Tracing Initiative Falls Short Over Lack of Smartphones

Google and Apple develop a tracing initiative that falls short in underdeveloped regions as smartphones are still unavailable to half the world. 

According to CNN Business, Apple and Google have begun the tracing initiative. However, because half the world still doesn’t have smartphones, they’re fighting an uphill battle. According to CNN business, the tracing initiative set up by Apple and Google will potentially leave massive gaps in testing. Approximately half of the world’s population, or about 3.7 billion people, don’t have smartphones. These people either have older phones (flip and slide phones) or simply don’t use them at all. 

Besides the fact that half the world does not have smartphones is the hurdle of opting in. In order to coincide with various legal issues and laws, the tracing initiative will rely on people to actually activate the feature on their smartphone. This brings up issues pertaining to technological ability, and society’s fear of being tracked or traced. 

To put this all into perspective, China has released a tracing initiative program to smartphone users across the country. Like in North America, China needs users to opt in before actually taking part. Unfortunately over half a billion users have yet to sign up online. Presumably a large portion of those people are without smartphones to begin with. 

Analysts, politicians and other public figures have praised Apple and Google for putting their competitive bias aside and pooling their resources. If COVID-19 has taught society anything, it’s that success comes through teamwork and collaboration. Not division and unwarranted competition. 

The novel coronavirus entitled COVID-19 has made a mess of the world, however, people can take solace in the fact that large corporations are doing what they can to fight off the virus. When this passes, and it will, large corporations like Apple and Google are likely to be avid participants in the medical community. Perhaps even ensuring that an outbreak of this stature never happens again