Faizel Patel – 22/06/2020
No… Apple & Google have not secretly installed a COVID-19 tracker on your smartphone.
Social media platforms including Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook have been abuzz with messages claiming that Apple or Google has suddenly uploaded a COVID-19 tracking app to their phone without permission.
Forbes reports that there is an entry at the top of the Google settings on Android that states: “COVID-19 exposure notifications.
The iPhone has the same entry under > Setting > Privacy > Health which states “COVID-19 Exposure”. It has a toggle button, which can be switched on or off.
According to Forbes, this is a case of nothing to see here, as all that’s happened in the last Android or iOS update is that the application programming interface (API) that will enable exposure notifications to work has been added.
“It’s not an app; it’s the framework within the operating system that will allow such an app to function once it becomes available and if you decide to install it.”
Apple and Google published a joint statement about the API 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.”
So, to sum up, Forbes reports that nobody can or will install a COVID-19 tracking app on your phone but you, debunking the fake news the tech giants may have a sinister agenda.