Are Apple And Google Using A COVID-19 Tracking App Without Your Consent?

Has a new COVID-19 tracking "app" magically appeared on your iPhone or Android device?

Krystien Meyers
June 29, 2020 5:44 PM

COVID-19 has taken the world by storm and now are companies like Apple and Google taking advantage of it by uploading a COVID -19 tracking app to your phone without permission, or so we thought. 


Well, legally neither of the companies are allowed to violate users privacy - so this is a hoax. Both, Apple and Google have not uploaded a tracking app, or any app onto your smartphone without your consent. However, this update is what started the rumour.


Apple and Google have launched a contact tracing setting called "Exposure Notifications" that works via Bluetooth (not GPS) and is turned off at the system level by default. Only after you download an app from your local health authority (DHA) and explicitly give permission to use your Bluetooth data to trace your movements.

Essentially, it is the mechanics for government-approved apps to function should you (consensually) choose to download a COVID-19 tracing app.


Apple and Google collectively stated back in May "What we’ve built is not an app - rather public health agencies will incorporate the API into their own apps that people install. Our technology is designed to make these apps work better."


The take away is that no one can install a COVID-19 tracking app on your device without your permission. Once you do download an app, you go through the necessary terms and conditions and permissions (which most people ignore anyway..) even so, it is possible to disable the "Exposure Notifications" on your phone in plain sight in your device settings.

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