But there is widespread alarm among Android users at the unexpected Google ‘COVID-19 notifications’ section
Android phone users in the UK have reacted in alarm to the uninvited appearance of a new section in the ‘Google settings’ of their handset – one named ‘COVID-19 exposure notifications. The alarm stems from concern that Android has installed the Tories’ Dominic Cummings-linked coronavirus tracking app without the user’s permission and the idea that data gathered by that app to be misused or given to third parties. The SKWAWKBOX has already made clear to its readers its editor’s opinion.
A message has been circulating widely warning that ‘Google’ has automatically signed users up to the government’s app designed by close associates of Boris Johnson’s chief adviser:
However, it appears that what Google has installed in its settings section is not the Tories’ app – but rather a space or slot through which users can choose to connect to a state tracing app for notifications of exposure to someone infected with COVID-19:
It also appears, from the its ‘blurb’, that the Google section may in fact provide some ‘insulation’ from potential abuse of personal data, as it states:
The public health authority app is not allowed to use your phone’s location… The exposure notifications system itself does not use your location or share other users’ identities with the app, Google or Apple.
This remains to be confirmed. However, for the moment it seems that the anxiety about the appearance of this section in handsets’ Google settings is misplaced.
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