Did your phone act up with no service a few days ago? What if I told you they secretly added #covid19 trackers. iPhones: settings/privacy/health. It’s there. Awake yet?
— Aubrey Huff (@aubrey_huff) June 19, 2020
iPhone users have recently noticed that an extra option is available under the “Health” app on their phone – a “Cornavirus Exposure Logging” option.
Underneath the option, which users can seemingly turn on and off, is the following explainer appears:
“When enabled, iPhone can exchange random IDs with other devices using Bluetooth. This enables an app to notify you if you may have been exposed to COVID-19. Exposure Logging cannot access any data in, or add any data to, the Health app.”
Users on social media shared their surprise upon discovering the new feature.
So .. when everyone was having ‘phone disruptions’ this week, they were adding COVID-19 Trackers to our phones. If you have an Android phone, go under Settings, then GOOGLE settings & it’s there. If you have an iPhone, go to settings, privacy, then health. It’s there. 😱
— Adjoa Andoh (@andoh_adjoa) June 19, 2020
COVID-19 trackers installed on your iPhone. Check it out settings/health/privacy pic.twitter.com/lJx92j0DJN
— Chris Cordes🇺🇸 (@Rabuuf) June 19, 2020
The feature seems to be a part of Apple’s latest update of their iOS operating system for iPhones, iOS13.5. And as you read above Android phones have added a similar feature as well.
To check if your phone has the new tracking feature:
On iPhone – go to Settings > Privacy > Health. You will see the “toggle” feature as in the picture above.
On Android – go to Settings > Google settings. It will be the first option you see.
Some are put off by the secret installation of the capability on their phones, and are questioning whether the “on-off” button will truly be respected by big tech firms.
Mine said I needed to have bluetooth on…but I bet it’s still transmitting.
— Lasers r still cool. (@ARCAMMON) June 19, 2020