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Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:07 AM

Was a COVID-19 tracker really added to your phone?

Maybe you’ve seen it, a social media post claiming that a coronavirus tracker has secretly been added to your cellphone.

Variations of the post have been spreading across social media platforms and read something like this:

“So when everyone was having ‘phone disruptions’ earlier this week, they were adding COVID-19 Trackers to our phones. If you have an Android phone, go under Settings, then GOOGLE settings and it’s there. If you have an iPhone, go to settings, privacy, then health. I don’t think you really overstand what they’re trying to do here.”

While you may notice a new entry in the settings folder on your phone — it was included in a May 20 update for iPhones, and there’s a Google Play Services update for Android users, 9to5Mac reported — it doesn’t mean an app has been installed, according to Forbes.

https://www.kansascity.com/news/coronavirus/article243694062.html


I can confirm that this was added to my phone without notice or warning.

27 replies, 1624 views

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Was a COVID-19 tracker really added to your phone? (Original post)
ecstatic Jun 2020 OP
NightWatcher Jun 2020 #1
SammyWinstonJack Jun 2020 #4
Johnny2X2X Jun 2020 #7
ecstatic Jun 2020 #12
MuseRider Jun 2020 #2
randr Jun 2020 #3
soothsayer Jun 2020 #5
katmondoo Jun 2020 #6
USALiberal Jun 2020 #8
ecstatic Jun 2020 #9
sweetloukillbot Jun 2020 #21
matt819 Jun 2020 #10
Arkansas Granny Jun 2020 #11
Tetrachloride Jun 2020 #13
Hortensis Jun 2020 #14
ecstatic Jun 2020 #16
Hortensis Jun 2020 #20
dweller Jun 2020 #15
ecstatic Jun 2020 #17
dweller Jun 2020 #18
Wawannabe Jun 2020 #19
LizBeth Jun 2020 #22
Buckeye_Democrat Jun 2020 #23
ananda Jun 2020 #24
Buckeye_Democrat Jun 2020 #25
Baclava Jun 2020 #26
Buckeye_Democrat Jun 2020 #27

Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:09 AM

1. Its on my iPhone if I want to use it but I have to download and activate an app first

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:15 AM

4. Same here and turn on bluetooth.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:19 AM

7. Yes, you have to download the app first

Then go to privacy and enable it to track your location. Seems like a good idea, I'll set it up on my phone later.

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Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:26 AM

12. Hmm... on one hand it might be a great thing since trump has not

and will not do anything to stop the virus.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:14 AM

2. I found it on my

Android as well. Thought it was the dumbest thing in the world and actually worrisome even though I did not know how it would help, a good lot of the people you would need to know about have not been tested and do not care to be. I did not install it.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:15 AM

3. I read that the app is supposed to warn when you come in close proximity with a CoronaV carrier?

Is there a site that has any factual info on how this all works?

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:15 AM

5. Well I'll be darned

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Response to soothsayer (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:19 AM

6. I do not have a cell phone and never will have one.

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Response to katmondoo (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:20 AM

8. Well.....ok. Nt

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Response to katmondoo (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:21 AM

9. Wow! Kudos? nt

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Response to katmondoo (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 09:07 AM

21. So this is in no way relevant to you but thanks

For letting us know...

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:23 AM

10. Calm down

Yes, a Covid feature was added and is disabled by default. It requires you to download an app that works with this feature.

Sure, apps are tracking us everywhere, but this is not one of them. I’m sure there are tons of features that one might find helpful, or that one might fear, that are disabled until you enable them.

No need for hysteria.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:23 AM

11. It's on my phone, but I can't find any information about the availability in my state.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:32 AM

13. Information please

1. What model phone
2. What is the name of the app

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:33 AM

14. "No, no one has secretly installed a COVID-19 tracker onto your smartphone"

There IS something:

What you're actually seeing is the groundwork that Apple and Google have done to allow governments and health agencies to develop their own COVID-19 trackers, and also to give the end-user the ability to turn the feature off if they want to. It's not an app (technically it's the API framework), and only approved apps can make use of the feature.

And the end-user is in control of it. From installing the app, to removing it and erasing the data.

Both companies issued a statement outlining their plans back in May. https://blog.google/inside-google/company-announcements/apple-google-exposure-notification-api-launches/

WIRED.com has a good article on the apps that aren't available yet.

https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-contact-tracing-apple-google/

So many Kool-Aid gulpers have paranoid leanings that trap them in circular "reasoning": "Government can't be trusted and is out to get us. I don't trust anything or anyone. Therefore, government can't be trusted and neither can anything else." Sounds like condemnation to secular hell to me. How to protect them from the pandemic of mind-fuckers?

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:41 AM

16. Thanks

It's cool to see how quickly Apple and Google took the initiative and got this done.

That being said, if it's optional for users, then they probably wasted their time.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #16)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 09:02 AM

20. Well, a large majority of people polled say they want testing,

contact tracing, etc, something like 3/4. I suspect the virus must have been one significant factor in the extremely poor attendance at Trump's rally, even among those hard-core Trump followers.

My husband and I are all in, though I feel as if our retiree self isolation could put even Apple's and Google's computers into sleep mode.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:39 AM

15. not on mine




✌🏼

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Response to dweller (Reply #15)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:49 AM

17. Do you use wifi? Have you disabled automatic app

updates? 🤔

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #17)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:52 AM

18. if i use wifi

i turn it on/off when done, and i have no updates pending

i'm cool with it

✌🏼n

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 08:57 AM

19. Thanks for this info. Looked and

I do have it on my iPhone. It is default set to off looks like. I keep my loc services off unless I need it for directions. I turned on and off - the Covid app stayed off. So, it does look like you have to allow or enable it to track.

Shit! This is troubling tho. I got an ios update and it didn’t mention. I always try to find out what in the update before dwnld and install. Hmmm!?

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 10:19 AM

22. I had a down load last week then immediately started having spotty issues sending text and pictures

to son. Mostly happened texting to the son with android phone but has happened a few times with son with iphone. It is better now but still get it every once in a while.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 10:24 AM

23. Not on my iPhone, but there's been notifications...

... to update it for awhile, which I haven't done.

No Wifi for me at home, and I haven't stopped at any free Wifi hotspots to do it.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 10:43 AM

24. OK, I updated my iPhone and..

Last edited Tue Jun 23, 2020, 11:24 AM - Edit history (1)

Under Privacy-Health there is a
Covid-19 logging tracker. But it's
already off.

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Response to ananda (Reply #24)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 01:39 PM

25. I just did the same after using a library's Wifi...

... and it's the same for me.

Automatically off, and a tracking app is needed as well. (I might actually do it!)

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 05:32 PM

26. Its a notification on Google settings on android, nothing is running without separate tracking app

Those only come from local or state health dept that tracks positive cases, and only a couple states are using it so far

Even then you have to opt in and u can disable it anytime

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Response to Baclava (Reply #26)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 05:36 PM

27. Yep.

I was willing to do it, actually, but Ohio has stated they're not participating.

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