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A weird thing happened to me last week, and I wonder if it happened to you as well. Last Wednesday morning, June 10th, I updated my Iphone with the latest IOS13.5. Throughout the day I could make calls, but never hear anyone on the call. It persisted most of the day and I worked around it by using FaceTime, Whatsapp, and TextNow. Today, I stumbled upon many people who had experienced the same exact thing when they downloaded the new update. One thing I didn’t realize was that the update contained a Covid-19 Tracker. I discovered this is also installed on Androids as well.
I looked on my phone…sure enough – it’s there.
Back in May, Tim Cook announced that it was available, and according to CNET, it uses bluetooth to track users. Well, it’s not just available, but the infrastructure is installed without you choosing. 9to5Mac Informs us that the default setting is to not track; however, I have a healthy amount of skepticism. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear differently months from now, especially if you travel to any country in the near future that mandates such trackers ( the UAE for instance if you’re positive). Regardless, if you downloaded the latest update, you have it on your phone.
Technology can help health officials rapidly tell someone they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Today the Exposure Notification API we created with @Google is available to help public health agencies make their COVID-19 apps effective while protecting user privacy.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 20, 2020
Here’s how you can find it…and make sure it’s on or off
Under settings go to Privacy…it’s blue and the last icon before iTunes
Next Click on Health – it’s the one with a heart icon
At the very top you’ll see Covid-19 Exposure Logging
You’ll now see that mine is turned off, if I wanted it on, I would need an app to populate the data.
I’ve written in the past about how the UK is urging everyone to download an app they would develop, but it was just recently announced that they were abandoning this venture in lieu of using one developed by Apple and Google. Personally, I’m extremely reticent to believe that data isn’t already being collected regardless of whether I opt in or not, but for many of your reading, you may not even know the infrastructure is on your phone. You may even want the tracker on. The choice is yours, but personally, I don’t like the idea of tracking technology tied to medical data one bit.
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