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Tag Archives for " app "

Latvia to be one of first to use Apple and Google software for coronavirus contact-tracing apps

Latvia will be one of the first countries to use the software tool developed by US tech companies Apple and Google enabling nations to release coronavirus contact-tracing apps, representatives of the companies informed LETA.

The software tool will enable the development of mobile apps using a decentralized approach, which involves saving and analyzing the data of close-distance contacts in the user’s mobile devise. Apple and Google have granted access to their new software to 22 countries, including Latvia where a group of IT companies are working on the app Apturi COVID (Stop COVID). Latvia will thus become one of the first countries to use the new tool for combating the spread of the new coronavirus.

Source: Latvia to be one of first to use Apple and Google software for coronavirus contact-tracing apps :: The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics

Qatar makes COVID-19 app mandatory, experts question efficiency

Starting late last week, citizens and residents have been required to have the Ehteraz contact-tracing app installed on mobile devices when leaving their homes, allowing the government to track if the user has been in touch with an infected person.

Not having the app installed could lead to a maximum fine of $55,000 or three years in prison.

But the announcement, days before the Eid al-Fitr holiday, led users to raise privacy concerns as the app requires access to files on the phone and permanent use of its GPS and Bluetooth for location tracking.

Source: Qatar makes COVID-19 app mandatory, experts question efficiency | Qatar News | Al Jazeera

Israel restricts COVID-19 phone tracking to ‘special cases’

Israel’s cabinet has limited COVID-19 phone tracking to ‘special cases’ where normal methods might not be enough.

Officials initially wanted to track the location of virtually every infected person with the technology, which was originally intended to fight terrorism. It theoretically helped Israel determine if people were isolating properly, and would help determine who might have been exposed. Privacy advocates quickly objected, though, and the Israeli parliament put a stop to it after determining that the drawbacks outweighed the benefits.

Source: Israel restricts COVID-19 phone tracking to ‘special cases’ | Engadget

Australia Tightens Privacy Protections on COVID-19 Tracing App

New legislation imposes stronger privacy protections on Australia’s planned contact-tracing app. “The Australian government’s coronavirus tracing app will have stronger privacy protections under legislation which has passed Parliament,” reports The New Daily.

The legislation was passed amid concerns about the government’s reluctance to be honest about the limitations of the app. It will put strict requirements on the collection, use and disclosure of COVIDSafe app data.

Source: Australia Tightens Privacy Protections on COVID-19 Tracing App

Health officials think Apple and Google virus-tracking apps will be useless

Apple and Google’s last month announced of a joint effort to track the coronavirus. But as the tech giants have revealed more details, officials now say the software will be of little use.

The tension over virus-tracking apps reflects a major power imbalance between the tech giants and state and local health officials, who argue that Apple and Google’s technical decisions have undermined their response to a global health emergency. It also highlights the tech giants’ ability to exert unfettered control over how billions of smartphones work.

Source: Apple and Google clash with health officials over virus-tracking apps – The Washington Post

Big privacy and data security concerns as India forces coronavirus tracing app on millions

Privacy and legal experts raise red flags as many are forced to download an app one politician calls a “sophisticated surveillance system.”

India’s government is trying to address privacy concerns raised by hackers, activists and political opposition parties over its coronavirus contact tracing app called Aarogya Setu.

But while the government insists the app is an important tool in its fight against coronavirus, it has raised concerns over personal privacy and other issues.

Full article: Big privacy and data security concerns as India forces coronavirus tracing app on millions – CBS News

Questions remain over whether data collected by Covidsafe app could be accessed by US law enforcement

The federal government has reassured the public that Covidsafe data held by Amazon will not be able to be accessed by US law enforcement, but a parliamentary committee is currently investigating separate legislation that would pave the way for US law enforcement to access data held in Australia.

The defence minister, Marise Payne, argued that because the Covidsafe legislation makes “any transfer of data to any country outside Australia … a criminal offence under the provisions of the bill”, US law enforcement would not be able to get the Covidsafe data.

However, the telecommunications legislation amendment (international production orders) bill 2020 would, if passed, make it possible for Australia to facilitate agreements with other nations so that Australian law enforcement agencies could access data held in those countries and vice versa. It has been developed with the US Cloud Act in mind.

Source: Questions remain over whether data collected by Covidsafe app could be accessed by US law enforcement | Law (Australia) | The Guardian

Multi-part Android spyware lurked on Google Play Store for 4 years, posing as a bunch of legit-looking apps

A newly uncovered strain of Android spyware lurked on the Google Play Store disguised as cryptocurrency wallet Coinbase, among other things, for up to four years, according to a new report by Bitdefender.

The malware, named Mandrake by the threat intelligence agency, featured a three-part structure that allowed its operators to evade detection by routine Google scanning.

Beginning with an innocuous-looking dropper hosted on the Google Play store, masquerading as one of a number of legitimate apps, Mandrake allowed its Russian operators to snoop on virtually everything unsuspecting targets did on their mobile phone.

Source: Multi-part Android spyware lurked on Google Play Store for 4 years, posing as a bunch of legit-looking apps • The Register

NHS contact-tracing app must not be released to public without privacy protections, MPs say

The NHS contact-tracing app must not be released in its current form without increased privacy and data protections, a parliamentary committee has said.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights said it had “significant concerns” that must be addressed before it is rolled out to the general public nationwide.

The app, which is currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight, records users’ movements and can be used to alert people if they have had contact with someone who has developed coronavirus symptoms.

Source: Coronavirus: NHS contact-tracing app must not be released to public without privacy protections, MPs say | The Independent

UK racing to improve contact-tracing app’s privacy safeguards

NHS officials are racing to introduce greater privacy safeguards for the contact-tracing app at the centre of the government’s lockdown exit strategy amid mounting concern from security experts, MPs and users.

It plans to complete the appointment of an ethics board to improve oversight and publish the software source code in the next month, and has not ruled out “a sunset clause”, agreeing to delete all data collected once the country returns to normal.

Source: UK racing to improve contact-tracing app’s privacy safeguards | Technology | The Guardian

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