Massachusetts’ COVID-19 exposure notification app auto-installed on Android phones

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Covid testing
A COVID-19 testing site in Boston, Massachusetts | Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Google appears to have automatically installed the COVID-19 exposure notification app for Massachusetts on some Android phones, users reported. The system is still only active if users turn it on, Google told 9to5Google.

The app, MassNotify, launched on June 15th. Many Android users said that it was silently installed on their phones without any notifications: “Ghost installed on my phone without my consent. While I believe in what this app was meant to do, installing it without so much as a notification is extremely alarming,” one user wrote in a Google Play Store review.

The feature was “automatically distributed,” Google said in a statement to 9to5Google, but users still have to actively opt in to send and receive exposure...

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