Google and Apple partnership for Contact Tracing

I’m sure many of you have heard already, but Google and Apple have announced a partnership to create a contact tracing system nominally intended to map the spread of COVID-19 and alert participants if someone nearby might have it. (google has an identical statement).
At the moment, it’s strictly opt-in they’re going to forcibly install it on everyone’s phone if they’ve got Play Services enabled and have Android 6 and up. Future plans are to bake it into all new versions of Android and iOS. That implies a few possibilities, all of which may be concurrent:

  1. They plan to monetize this technology, possibly in sectors other than health.
  2. Governments may mandate participation (they’re the ones cited as asking for this).
  3. Businesses are not prohibited from mandating participation as a prerequisite for doing business.
  4. This pandemic is going to last a very long time.
  5. Action on the part of developers of ALL mobile operating systems/phone makers may become compulsory.
    So I guess, what are your thoughts on this?
    I don’t like to stick my head out, but I can’t remain silent about this. What they are doing is creating one of the core components of a Social Credit system, a notification that tells you when it’s undesirable to be around someone. They say it’s Opt-in, but having a phone number or even social security number are all technically Opt-in as well, but life gets very difficult if you don’t have them.

Well, sadly, not a whole lot new with this other than competitors co-developing a standard. Apple already uses this tech to find missing devices via Bluetooth (not to mention tell the phone which floor of a building it’s on). However, there is one phrase that waves a big red flag to me:

“ • If diagnosed with COVID-19, users consent to sharing Diagnosis Keys with the server”

Does that mean a diagnosis in itself is the consent?

i was going to start something like this yesterday … Russia is already doing that as far as i understand … but maybe i’m wrong and it hasn’t happened yet …

my question is - what happens if i don’t have any Apple or iOS device … will i be issued one from the police-state ? what if i refuse on the basis of my digital-freedom being taken away from me ?

we’re already in a FORCED quarantine mode with the police-state having unusually HIGHER power than in past years … by presidential decree … why should i have a notification on my phone telling me who is sick around me if i’m already isolated and don’t have much physical contact with anybody around me ? :mask:


I’ve decided to go looking up what countries are doing what as far as invading your privacy. This list excludes the use of more traditional contact tracing methods, which is essentially detective work.
Countries that intend to give you a choice:

  • The UK (one article suggests they have proposed what is, in theory, the least invasive deployment. Edit: However, it looks like they’re planning on making it mandatory to return to work.)
  • Singapore (Trace Together is not mandatory)
  • Iran (asked citizens to download an app which was subsequently pulled from the Play Store)
  • France (Their planned PPEP-PT app is a voluntary download and open source)

Countries that have mandated it:

  • People’s Republic of China (They mandated Social Credit, they can mandate whatever they want with compulsory popular support)
  • Republic of China (Taiwan) (Even having your phone turned off will warrant a police visit)
  • South Korea (I don’t know if you have to install an app or not, but they’re taking data from so many sources that I doubt they even need one)
  • Israel (Now everyone is treated as if they’re a terrorist. I’m not exaggerating much.)
  • Poland (not only do you HAVE to download the app, you have to send pictures of your face regularly)
  • Austria (Buying “anonymized” location data from telecom companies)
  • Belgium (Buying “anonymized” location data from telecom companies)
  • Germany (Buying “anonymized” location data from telecom companies)
  • Australia (Buying “anonymized” location data from telecom companies. Use of an app is still voluntary, although they considered making it mandatory, I guess they didn’t.)
  • Italy (Buying “anonymized” location data from telecom companies)
  • India (phone GPS data is being obtained somehow. They’re also stamping the hands of anyone they suspect of having it.)
  • Russia (There’s that really painful sounding Digital Pass To Go Anywhere which they meant to check for everyone but found that took way too long and so moved to random checks)

The United States is in kind of a grey area. They’ve been buying location data from anyone who had it, including advertisers, to try and map people’s movements. Furthermore, the CARES Act includes $500 million for the CDC to build a “surveillance and data collection system”. Timing would suggest Google/Apple’s response is a bid to get the contract and do all the work for the CDC, although the basic contact tracing functionality seems so minimal I doubt it alone would satisfy the CDC’s requirements. It seems the HIPAA was not changed. No information on mandatory participation right now.
I’ll update this post as I find anything new. And when this is over, I’ll try to find what systems remain active. Just…don’t consider me legal advice or anything.


well shit, i wasn’t keeping close tabs on what happens in the countries you cited but … DAMN !!!

please do so !

as long as it’s not misinformation there’s no concern here …

You are right to be concerned about this. “Never let a good crisis go to waste”

In more democratic countries it will probably just make you invisible.

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hate to link to snoople but i’ve not found it anywhere else >

Shane chats with former NSA spy and whistleblower Edward Snowden on the rise of authoritarianism during the “THING”

About VICE:
The Definitive Guide To Enlightening Information. From every corner of the planet, our immersive, caustic, ground-breaking and often bizarre stories have changed the way people think about culture, crime, art, parties, fashion, protest, the internet and other subjects that don’t even have names yet. Browse the growing library and discover corners of the world you never knew existed. Welcome to VICE.

we’ll see how long that lasts … :cold_sweat:


Where from did you get these data?

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So, in summary - a loophole in human’s psyche is finally found to put privacy against safety. Earlier attempts to link privacy protection to some kind of perversion have failed, so now a way is found to put privacy as unconditional and direct (even though potential) danger. And some entities (political and financial) are not losing this chance to monetize it, either as money or power. So the above list is a summary of those abusing entities (granted the list is backed by the real facts, not speculations and falsehood).

Most of it I got from this article. Information about India came from here

I found some more links while looking for it again.

Well, not exactly. We still are required to participate in this “compelled surveillance” spectacle explicitly. How this surveillance is implemented depends on the state, but, in fact, most our states just copy what Moscow government does (and Moscow state - an area around Moscow, which is a distinct federal entity - copies everything with the minimal lag in time). Thus, I expect that some time later everything will be identical everywhere.

So, what do we have now in Moscow?

  1. A system of street cameras (especially those which are installed by government near the entry door of every apartment house and those which are deployed near turnstiles at each subway station) which track people’s movement across the city. It was publicly stated by the government that now this system acts as a data source for facial recognition algorithm which looks for those who are suspected in having (or actually have) COVID-19. Your photo is being taken in the hospital and then is uploaded into the system.
  2. Since Apr 15 you are not allowed to use any transport (be it public or personal one) without obtaining a digital passcode. You have to install an application on your smartphone, register (specify all your passport data, phone number, and so on) and request a passcode by specifying where are you going from and to and why do you go there.
  3. The most interesting thing is that you have to attach all previously anonymous digital transport cards to your account, thus deanonymize yourself and all your future trips. Bingo.
  4. Formally, you still are allowed to move without any passcode as a pedestrian, but the government was planning to deploy this system for absolutely all trips at the beginning of April (which was canceled as our government was foxtrot uniform with the implementation), thus I believe that we all will be under complete control before the end of April.
  5. Whole Moscow State implements the similar approach.
  6. Judges, deputies, journalists, government and military people are not required to have a passcode.
  7. There were emergent amendments to few federal laws to make this stuff seem somewhat legal.

Interestingly, our government coined a legally undefined euphemism - “self-isolation” - to describe a mode initiated by a state’s government (not even a federal one!) when you are recommended to stay home but are subject to penalties if you don’t.

We currently don’t have a quarantine or emergency situation, either of which is a well-defined legal term for a regime which has rules for its initiation and allows government to restrict the rights granted to you by the Constitution. Unfortunately, our government does not like an idea about initiating either of them, as they imply rules, restrictions and obligations not only for citizens, but also for the government itself.

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Wow. :frowning:

thanks for clarifying … text is much more useful than being indoctrinated all day in front of the TV … corona this corona that :crazy_face:

simply put we are all terrorists that need to be put down … this makes welding metal doors shut a walk-in-the-park :shushing_face:

Mmm, where did you find the informations about Italy? I haven’t heard of anything like that here (but it wouldnt surprise me much…)

It’s in the Business insider article. Although apparently I glossed over the word “anonymized” because of the mention of a sizable number of quarantine violation charges.

And today, it was revealed that it seems there’s no way to avoid getting this on your phone except to disable Play Services. This indicates an absurdly strong push for this, one that may compel action on Purism as well, or worse, see individuals using a phone without this software facing Public Health Nuisance charges.
What you’ll be getting is the basic functionality that identifies your phone to all other phones. It’s meant to work with apps you download. I can’t presume they’ll really let you opt out of the basic functionality if they’re being this aggressive about it.

I listened to a week-old podcast today. The host indicated that the state of Kansas is tracking all mobile phones and matching data purchased from Big Data. Who knew that Kansas, of all places, would be a fount of Owellian evil?

Toto? I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore! :dog2::tornado:


where’s my animal farm ? :grimacing:

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I cannot wait for my Librem 5 and hardware kill-switches. Try tracking with all radios off :slight_smile:

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