Huawei has an exposure notification API for contact-tracing apps called Contact Shield

Huawei Y6p.
PHOTO: Huawei

Apple and Google are two handset makers and mobile platform owners that we know to have developed an exposure notification API for contact-tracing apps. Now, you can add Huawei to the list as the Chinese company has just launched its own Contact Shield API.

Now part of HMS Core 4.1, Huawei says Contact Shield provides 'privacy-protecting contact tracing services for Huawei device users'. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy to detect neighbouring devices.

Like Apple and Google's API, developers have to incorporate this Contact Shield API in their contact-tracing apps for it to work. But Huawei says not every developer can use this API: Only 'developers authorised by governments and strictly assessed by Huawei' can do so.

Regarding privacy, Huawei's FAQ says it doesn't record and store any data related to user locations and identifiers are anonymised and removed after 14 days. The easiest way to delete the on-device data is to uninstall the app, but users can also manually delete the data.

About whether Contact Shield works with other devices such as iPhones and Android phones that use Google Mobile Services, Huawei only says the API can 'interact with industry-leading solutions to the Covid-19 pandemic'. It's unclear what that means exactly, but it sounds to me like a 'not yet'.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

This article was first published in Hardware Zone.