Contact tracing: Google installs apps without permission

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Steven L. Ken

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As the MIT Technology Review report highlighted, the contact tracing they have not achieved the desired success. This is mainly due to a lack of trust in governments and software houses. Confirmation comes from Massachusetts, where Google has installed the MassNotify app on Android devices, without permission users.

App installed secretly: we are not there at all

Since the debut of the well-known Apple / Google framework, the utmost respect for the privacy. Users were also free to use the contact tracing apps available in the various countries (e.g. Immuni in Italy). To start contact tracking you need to activate the service COVID-19 exposure notifications in the settings.

Several users have reported the sudden appearance of the app MassNotify on their smartphones. This is the contact tracing app released in Massachusetts. The app does not have the icon and cannot be found on the Google Play Store. The support team has confirmed that the app becomes visible and begins tracking only if it is activated the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications service.

Google has communicated that MassNotify comes automatically distributed, so as to avoid downloading a separate app. To remove it from your device you need to search the Play Store for the app's internal name, that is Exposure Notifications Settings Feature – MA. The absolute lack of transparency and the use of a rather questionable method for its installation is evident.

Among other things, there is also a problem of "localization". MassNotify should only be available in Massachusetts. Instead, by logging in to the Google Play Store, the button Install also in Italy, as can be seen in the screenshot:

Fonte: Bleeping Computer Contact tracing: Google installs apps without permission
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