Wahagen Khabayan at The National Pulse reports on a disturbing and invasive App emerging in Massachusetts, and probably already migrating westward:
COVID-Tracker App Installs Itself Without User Consent,
Including On Parental-Locked Devices.
The MassNotify app was developed in cooperation with both Apple and Google, and claims to work anonymously and “not track” users’ private information. This claim was made by Republican Governor Charlie Baker, who said this week: “As we embrace our new normal, MassNotify is a voluntary, free tool to provide additional peace of mind to residents as they return to doing the things they love.”
The app notifies users who have been near a person that tested COVID positive, and the tracking is conducted using the Bluetooth. The app claims that the tracking will be “completely anonymous, with no location tracking or exchange of personal information”. Furthermore, it promises to not share any location data or personal information with Google, Apple, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or other users.
Massachusetts state officials recently announced the launch of the “voluntary” MassNotify app, which monitors the spread of COVID-19 in the state. The only problem is the app appears to be installing itself on residents’ and their kids’ smartphones, unbeknownst to users, and without their consent.
The news creates a disturbing new dimension to privacy laws and even private property concerns as hundreds of users have reported their Android phones have had the app surreptitiously installed, without their prior knowledge.
. . .
The implementation process of the app clearly contradicts the notion of voluntary participation, as well as raising concerns as to what else might be installed remotely without users’ knowledge.
Many in the state had no idea the app had been pushed to their devices until they got a notification. The app also appears to be reinstalling itself once forcibly removed by users.
“Ghost installed without my permission, and keeps sending me push notifications. I removed it and it reinstall itself. This isn’t something I want in my phone, it’s not something that has permission to be on my phone nor should the commonwealth or any other place/company be allowed to put something on my phone without my permission,” said user Beth Silvaggio.
Read the entire report here.
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