Massachusetts Health Dept. Sued for Covertly Installing Spyware on Android Phones to Fight Covid

A new lawsuit filed by New Civil Liberties Alliance, a non-profit founded to "protect constitutional freedoms from violations by the Administrative State," alleges that the Massachusetts Public Health Department secretly installed MassNotify, a spyware app, on residents' Android devices as a measure to 'fight Covid.'

An attorney for the plaintiffs, Peggy Little, said, "This 'android attack,' deliberately designed to override the constitutional and legal rights of citizens to be free from government intrusions upon their privacy without their consent, reads like dystopian science fiction—and must be swiftly invalidated by the court,' Just the News reports.
 


 

The lawsuit alleges the Massachusetts Public Health Department worked with Google, starting in June 2021, to install the software surreptitiously on over one million Android phones. MassNotify can only be found through the devices' "settings" function and then navigating to "view all apps" and is not readily visible on the screen.

According to the class-action suit, the software was installed without search warrants and the Massachusetts Public Health Department would reinstall it if a user found it and deleted it.

"MassNotify is a voluntary service and users can opt in or out at any time. MassNotify is not automatically turned on and will not be enabled unless you explicitly choose to opt in," according to the Massachusetts Public Health Department's website.

The website describes the app's use with "When two people using MassNotify are near each other, their phones exchange random codes using Bluetooth." If you test positive for Covid in Massachusetts your information gets fed into the system and when you walk around everyone around gets notified on their phones that you're infected.

The Post Millennial reported in 2020 about Google and Apple adding coronavirus tracking systems to their Android and iOS systems. The technology develops in 2020 resembles MassNotify's description as the systems used short-range Bluetooth communications that began a network of contact-tracing. It stored data on phones that have come in close contact with the phone of an infected person.

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