The Massachusetts Department of Public Health coordinated with Google to secretly install COVID ‘spyware’ on 1 million phones, according to the lawsuits.
Published on 18.11.2022
The New Civil Liberties Alliance on Monday launched a lawsuit that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health collaborated with Google to develop a contract tracing app in April 2021. The lawsuit – filed in the US District Court in Massachusetts – accuses the DPH of installing “spyware which deliberately tracks and records personal movements and contacts on more than a million mobile devices without the permission and awareness of their owners. »
The Blaze Media reports that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health coordinated with Google to covertly install COVID ‘spyware’ on one million phones, lawsuits allege.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health coordinated with Google to covertly install tracking apps on more than one million Android phones, according to a class action lawsuit. The government has reportedly urged Google to install spyware on cellphones during the COVID-19 pandemic as a method of tracing contracts.
The New Civil Liberties Alliance filed a lawsuit on Monday, claiming the Massachusetts Department of Public Health worked with Google to develop a contract-tracing app in April 2021. The lawsuit – filed in federal court District of Massachusetts – accuses the DPH of installing “spyware that deliberately tracks and records the movements and personal contacts on more than a million mobile devices without the permission of their owners and without their being aware”.
The lawsuit claims that the mobile app was not downloaded voluntarily by a very large number of people.
However, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is accused of collaborating with Google to secretly self-install COVID spyware on more than a million phones without anyone’s knowledge or consent.
“To increase adoption, beginning June 15, 2021, DPH worked with Google to secretly install the contact-tracing app on more than one million Android mobile devices located in Massachusetts, without the owners devices do not know or consent to it,” the NCLA states in the lawsuit.
The NCLA press release states: “The DPH contact tracing app does not appear alongside other apps on the home screen of the Android device. The app can only be found by opening ‘settings’ and using the ‘show all apps’ feature.
“According to the lawsuit’s allegations, the app causes an Android cell phone to constantly connect and exchange data with other nearby devices via Bluetooth and create a record of those connections,” reports Fox Business. “This exchange process, the lawsuit explains, can make time-stamped data stored in a person’s Android phone available to DPH, Google and app developers. »
The lawsuit claimed that the app could obtain data from the mobile device, such as phone numbers, personal emails, places visited and movements.
The lawsuit claims that if smartphone owners have deleted the app, the DPH “simply reinstalls it.”
NCLA Legal Counsel Peggy Little said, “The DPH of Massachusetts, like any other governmental actor, is bound by state and federal constitutional and legal constraints on its conduct. This “android attack”, deliberately designed to override the constitutional and legal rights of citizens to be free from government intrusions into their privacy without their consent, sounds like dystopian science fiction – and must be quickly struck down in court. »
Sheng Li, legal counsel for NCLA, added, “Many foreign states and countries have successfully deployed contact tracing apps by obtaining consent from their citizens before downloading software to their smartphones. Persuading the public to voluntarily adopt such apps can be difficult, but it’s also necessary in a free society. The government cannot covertly install surveillance devices on your personal property without a warrant, even for a worthy purpose. For the same reason, it cannot install monitoring software on your smartphone without your knowledge and permission. »
The lawsuit alleges that “spyware still exists on the overwhelming majority of devices on which it was installed. »