Tech writer Andy Ihnatko spoke with Boston Public Radio on Friday about Apple and Google's joint coronavirus tracking project.

"What Google and Apple are teaming up to do is to basically turn your phone into a beacon that can listen to other phones acting as beacons," Ihnatko said. "If one of these people is diagnosed positive for coronavirus, a health organization can make a note into a certain server, and then at some point your phone might give you an alert."

Users must 'opt-in' to the program and will start to have access to the program next month, Ihnatko noted. "What makes it important is that a couple months after ... they’re actually going to put this technology right into the operating system," he said. "So every phone that you subsequently buy will already have this basic technology as part of the operating system."

People will still need to 'opt-in' to the tracking program when using phones with this tech built in, he added. "And this won’t be any help to data collection unless 80 percent of phone users opt-in to this."