What is This New Coronavirus Logger on Your iPhone or Android?
If your Apple or Android phone has been updated recently, there appears to be a new Coronavirus logger on it. Here is what it actually is.
There is a chance you've seen some memes around social media this weekend about how Apple and Android phones have suddenly installed a new application to track you around potential Coronavirus exposure. While the memes are truthful in stating that there is something new on the device, they are also false in how it describes what it really is.
According to Forbes, the new "tracker" is not a new application. Instead, it's an Application Programming Interface (API). The API would allow a Coronavirus app to function if a person decides to use one.
The new API would allow users to exchange a random ID with other devices using Bluetooth. According to the terms, the random IDs would change every 10-20 minutes to help protect your privacy. An authorized, downloaded app (that you would have to download yourself and agree to use) would work with the API and be able to notify you if you have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 based on the places you've been to using these random codes. This would help breakdown potential exposures by date, location, and how long you may have been exposed to someone with it.
This, again, is only by your consent and NOT forced upon you. You would have to download an actual tracker app and use the API that is now on your phone to make it all work.
To access the API on your phones to activate the system, or double-check that it's turned off go to:
Apple: Settings, Privacy, Health, COVID-19 Exposure Logging.
Android phones are similar and look almost identical. To access the menu on your Android device:
Android: Settings, Google Settings, COVID-19 Exposure Logging.
So don't fret. It's not a new application that was forced upon you. It's just something that was updated to allow different applications to be developed and work if you choose to use a Coronavirus tracker.