Social media is awash with claims that Google or Apple has secretly installed COVID19 trackers onto user’s iPhones and Android smartphones. Have you seen something about COVID19 tracking on your smartphone? Some devious hacker hasn’t infiltrated your phone and installed malware.

What you’re actually seeing is the basic foundations that Apple and Google have done to allow governments and many agencies to track you, and also to pretend to give the end-user the ability to turn the feature off if they want to. It’s not an app at all, it is part of these operating systems.

You have not been hacked

You have not been hacked. The ability to track you has been a design aim of the smartphone from the beginning. You can be tracked and yes you can switch off the reporting of this location information locally but you cannot be sure that your phone is not reporting you to agencies.

You may have been unaware

Apart from the obvious PANIC that this might cause in respect of lack of respect for your civil rights and the invasion of your privacy, the telecommunications industries have been able to listen-in for decades. They used to call this wire tapping. However, since the age of Cell Phones and fibre optic cable, the use of the term wire tapping is somewhat ridiculous.