The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is facing a class action lawsuit after colluding with Google to repeatedly auto-install contact-tracing spyware on the smartphones of over a million Massachusetts residents without their permission or consent.
According to a class action lawsuit filed by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan nonprofit civil rights organization, the Department of Public Health rolled out the contact tracing app it worked with Google to create in April 2021.
"The App causes an Android mobile device to constantly connect and exchange information with other nearby devices via Bluetooth and creates a record of such other connections. If a user opts in and reports being infected with COVID-19, an exposure notification is sent to other individuals on the infected user's connection record," the NCLA explains in the complaint, Wright v. Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Initially, the app which obtains users private locations and health information was voluntarily installed.
But then in June, DPH ramped up its contact tracing program and allegedly began surreptitiously installing the surveillance app on residents' phones.
"On June 15, 2021, DPH worked with Google to secretly install the Contact Tracing App onto over one million Android mobile devices located in Massachusetts without the device owners' knowledge or permission," the complaint states