The following item explains it all. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/02/6437947c3d50-suga-apologizes-for-glitch-in-japans-covid-19-contact-tracing-app.html A contact tracing app dubbed "COCOA" in Japan has failed miserably on Android phones since September update, but obviously no one at the health ministry or the development company who contracted the work verified the operation on a real phone despite there are SNS posts of Covid-19 patients who mentioned that their family members' phone did not report the exposure warning at all. I think the issue is due to a few factors.: - Apple/Google publishes so called Exposure Notification API and implements its functionality on their respective OS. The specs from two companies disagreed on a few minor points. Obviously, there have been updates, and new specs are hard to read as many in ICT industry can attest. This type of specs is read only by geeks and not many complain loudly that they are written poorly. But I digress. Only some really serious developers noticed the subtle difference between the API published for iOS and Android. A blog in Japanese about the bug. It refers to the github issue comments that first reported the issue from programmer's point of view. https://zenn.dev/zipperpull/articles/20210210-cocoa-bug (in Japanese). - Apple/Google have asked the health authorities of countries/regions only one such app is used in the region. This I suppose is due to the privacy concerns. This made the selection of developers a bit difficult since there had been a few independent groups who already have more or less working samples. (I don't know if they were bug-free or not.). Eventually, one of the developed software was chosen as the basis of COCOA and a maintenance company was chosen whose main function, it thought, was the operation/maintenance of anonymous patient database (anonomized by apple/goole algorithms, I think.) But actually, due to the API change over the long run, the app needed to be maintained as well for both on iOS and Android. Somehow the Android update got buggy but no real world phone tests did not take place if I understand correctly. This is probably due to the unpreparedness of the development company, but I am not sure. If this were an ordinary software bug, I would say"OK, a bug is always there, let's fix it and move on.". However, when the app was relied on the health authority of the region where I live (Kanagawa prefecture), it is not such an easy-to-ignore bug. The authority stated in early January, citing lack of man-power, that it would rely on this failing app to keep track of people who come into contact with known Covid-19 patients instead of human-based tracing. This means that those who relied on Android version of the app got short shrift and worse. I am not even sure if iOS version is working correctly since there has been a report from an iOS user who got Covid-19 and yet her family members iPhones did not report the exposure. Hmm... I use Android and have removed the app for now.
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