Google is force-installing a Massachusetts COVID-19 monitoring app on residents’ Android units with out a simple option to uninstall it.
For the previous few days, users have reported that Google silently put in the Massachusetts ‘MassNotify’ app on their units with out the power to open it or discover it within the Google Play Retailer.
“This put in silently on my daughter’s telephone 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 don’t know how they pulled this off, however it needed to contain both Google, or Samsung, or each,” a consumer 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 rely as “voluntary”. We’d like info, and we want it now, of us.”
MassNotify is Massachusetts’ COVID-19 contact tracing app that permits customers who’ve opted into Android’s ‘COVID-19 Publicity Notifications’ function to be warned when uncovered to the virus.
When opting into this function, 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
Nevertheless, Android customers state that they’ve acquired the appliance 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 instructed 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 telephone. The presence of the app merely signifies that MassNotify has been made out there as an choice in your telephone’s settings when you want to allow it. For extra details about this, please see this assist heart article from Google: https://support.google.com/android/answer/10775533
You possibly can see whether or not MassNotify is energetic by going to Settings -> Google -> COVID-19 Publicity Notifications. The “Use Publicity Notifications” toggle on the prime of the web page will present you whether or not MassNotify is energetic or not. From this display screen, you can even allow or disable MassNotify at any time.”
Many individuals, although, are reporting that they can’t discover any icons for the app, and it isn’t discovered when trying to find ‘MassNotify’ within the Google Play Retailer, and thus can not uninstall the force-installed app.
As a substitute, customers must 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 search out out why the app was put in however has not heard again right now.