Did Apple and Google install contact tracking apps on your phone?

Recent posts on social media (which I won’t link to, but you can easily find them with a Twitter search) They claim that Apple and Google are installing contact tracking apps on your phone without your permission. The posts show even compelling screenshots and allude to statements made by both companies stating they have been develop technologies to assist in contact search efforts; this evidence is presented as proof that mega-bodies are concealment apps on your phones and track wherever you go.

Now, look, it’s true that some early contact tracking apps were carried out bleak data collection schemes, and there have been concerns about “contact tracking arrests” for recent protests yesHowever, rumors about backdoor tracking features are surreptitiously installed on their devices only they are not true

Let me say it clearly: there is currently no hidden contact tracking apps on your iPhone or Android devices.

While some devices to have updated with dedicated settings related to COVID-19 exposure tracking, all that has been added is the ability of contact tracking applications you install to interact with your device at the system level so they can send exposure alerts and notifications.

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Forbes cybersecurity journalist Dave Winder I tried this out myself, and I have similar settings with the COVID-19 theme on my Pixel 3a XL. These settings are not only disabled by default, but Google updates introduce They didn’t install any unwanted apps on my device for location tracking (nor is anything installed even if I turn on settings; it only affects apps that search for those permissions)

Illustration for article titled No, Apple and Google did not secretly install contact tracking apps on their phone

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

At this point, the only way for a contact tracking app to appear on your phone is to download and Install it and grant it permission to track your data. You probably never have to install one if you don’t want to, anyway, since the manual contact tracking It works well

But even if there is I was a new contact tracking feature on your device, would use the GPS and activity information of the app that your phone and apps Stay alert now. There are even ways to turn off such tracking features and delete the data that companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter collect from you Routinely.

I’m not necessarily telling you need to turn off all these functions immediately; I’m just pointing out that we have a title control over what data is tracked, where it goes and who can access it, not to mention which apps or devices we choose to use in the first place. As long as those options remain available, you don’t need to worry if your phone is spying on you during the worst global pandemic of the last century. I don’t blame people for being concerned about the threat of pervasive digital surveillance, but don’t let those concerns turn to believe false rumors.