Google Had Secret Spyware Installed on Users for Contact Tracing, Suit Alleges
Some cities and states employed contact tracing applications to warn people if they were close to someone who was infected with the virus during the COVID-19 outbreak. Currently, a state is being charged for conspiring with Google to covertly install apps on people’s phones.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) was named in a class-action complaint filed by the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) on November 15 because it was the only state using coronavirus tracing apps that violated the rights of its citizens. The plaintiffs contend that the state and Google conspired to put a tracking app on more than a million residents’ Android phones.
NEWS: This lawsuit alleges that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts worked with Google to develop a contact tracing application for residents smartphones near the end of the COVID-19 epidemic.https://t.co/TPtAo6wmEb— James Stewart (@IAmJamesStewart) November 18, 2022
According to the lawsuit, the COVID tracing tool was initially voluntary, but when too few people downloaded it, the NCLA said the state started implementing it without users’ consent. People accused Google of reinstalling the app whenever they discovered it on their phones and decided to uninstall it. The NCLA referred to the technology as “spyware that knowingly tracks and collects personal contacts,” including emails and phone numbers, without the users’ consent. There was “brazen contempt for civil freedoms,” according to the lawsuit.
The US District Court for the District of Massachusetts received a lawsuit from the plaintiffs. There is no established date for hearings yet.