Google and Apple’s Covid-19 contact tracing tool is now being used in 22 countries and a handful of state’s public health apps. The idea is that your phone has an anonymized Bluetooth beacon and sniffs out other beacons and if you’ve been in contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19 there will be some way to alert you.
If you’re in the tinfoil hat crowd, it’s another erosion of your illusion of privacy. If you carry a cell phone however, hah… good one… privacy…
The current API Google and Apple have protects individual’s privacy at the API level and prevents the NSA, Google, Apple, etc from having to disclose they could already probably retroactively track you within 15 feet of anyone with a cell phone that tests positive for the virus, but won’t.
So should you have relatives who want to rally against this as an invasion of privacy, you should probably tell them to get rid of their phones. It won’t simply stop perceived government overreach, it’ll also stop them from commenting on Facebook, which if they’re on – hah privacy.
As this is coming in at the Play Store Services level on Android, and in iOS updates in Apple, if they wanted to enable it by default you’d probably never know.
Much like if the government wanted to put in tracking code in the radio firmware of your phone you’d simply never know as even the OS wouldn’t see what the radio was doing.
Or in the US if the NSA or any government agency wanted to trace every cell phone in the country you’d probably never know.[Android Police]