Google is force-installing a Massachusetts COVID-19 monitoring app on residents’ Android gadgets with out a straightforward solution to uninstall it.
For the previous few days, users have reported that Google silently put in the Massachusetts ‘MassNotify’ app on their gadgets with out the flexibility to open it or discover it within the Google Play Retailer.
“This put in silently on my daughter’s cellphone with out consent or notification. She can not have put in it herself since we use Household Hyperlink and now we have to approve all app installs. I do not know how they pulled this off, however it needed to contain both Google, or Samsung, or each,” a person wrote in a overview on the Google Play Retailer.
“Regular apps cannot simply set up themselves. I am undecided what is going on on right here, however this does not depend as “voluntary”. We want info, and we want it now, people.”
MassNotify is Massachusetts’ COVID-19 contact tracing app that enables customers who’ve opted into Android’s ‘COVID-19 Publicity Notifications’ characteristic to be warned when uncovered to the virus.
When opting into this characteristic, customers can choose the nation and state they wish to obtain notifications from, and the corresponding states app can be put in on the gadget
Nonetheless, Android customers state that they’ve acquired the applying although they haven’t turned on the Android Publicity Notification settings on their gadget.
A YCombinator’s Hacker News reader contacted the MassNotify Assist Desk and was informed that the looks of the MassNotify app of their app listing signifies that it’s put in however not essentially energetic.
“The looks of MassNotify within the app listing doesn’t imply that MassNotify is enabled in your cellphone. The presence of the app merely signifies that MassNotify has been made obtainable as an possibility in your cellphone’s settings for those who want to allow it. For extra details about this, please see this assist middle article from Google: https://support.google.com/android/answer/10775533
You’ll be able to see whether or not MassNotify is energetic by going to Settings -> Google -> COVID-19 Publicity Notifications. The “Use Publicity Notifications” toggle on the high of the web page will present you whether or not MassNotify is energetic or not. From this display screen, you may also allow or disable MassNotify at any time.”
Many individuals, although, are reporting that they can’t discover any icons for the app, and it’s not discovered when trying to find ‘MassNotify’ within the Google Play Retailer, and thus can not uninstall the force-installed app.
As an alternative, customers need to go to the MassNotify Google Play Store URL that makes use of the app’s inside title of ‘Publicity Notifications Settings Characteristic – MA’ and uninstall it from there.
BleepingComputer has contacted Google to seek out out why the app was put in however has not heard again presently.