Mass. health officials worked with Google to covertly install COVID ‘spyware’ into 1M phones, lawsuit claims



The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly using Google technology to covertly install tracking apps on over one million Android phones as part of the state government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 through contact tracing.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), a nonpartisan civil rights firm, accused the Bay State’s health department of "brazen disregard for civil liberties" by installing "spyware that deliberately tracks and records movement and personal contacts onto over a million mobile devices without their owners’ permission and awareness." The class-action suit claims DPH is in violation of both the Massachusetts and U.S. Constitutions.

"Conspiring with a private company to hijack residents’ smartphones without the owners’ knowledge or consent is not a tool that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health ('DPH') may lawfully employ in its efforts to combat COVID-19," the lawsuit said.



black iPhone 7 on brown table by Selwyn van Haaren is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com

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