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Apple’s iOS 14 public beta disables European contact tracing apps

Apple’s iOS 14 public beta was released earlier this month, but there’s one problem with it: The beta reportedly disables coronavirus contact tracing apps in Europe.

The issue only affects European apps and it doesn’t alert you when the apps are disabled, as first reported by 9to5Mac. The public beta alsodoesn’t allow people to change the settings in an iPhone, even if you turn your settings on to Enabled. 

Apple reportedly knows about the issue with the apps in the public beta. Digital Trends reached out to Apple to comment on why European apps are specifically not enabled. We will update this story when we hear back. 

Contact tracing apps (also referred to as “exposure notifications) use Bluetooth to exchange random IDs with other devices and collect data to an exposure log. The log allows the app to notify you if you may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You can also choose to share that you are diagnosed with the coronavirus with an authorized app, and the app anonymously notifies others you came in contact with. 

Apple and Google joined forces to create a coronavirus contact tracing API (application programming interface) that developers can use. The system allows app developers to work with health officials to build the final apps for people to use, as well as to encourage feedback that will help improve the various features. 

Apple and Google representatives previously said they are giving public health authorities control over the ability to define and calculate an appropriate exposure risk level to assign users who are notified they’ve been exposed to a person who tested positive.

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