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This morning I woke up and saw a post on another site that another individual had posted about a software "upgrade" for the iphone. I checked on my phone and noted that it is indeed there. The next version of iOS will provide the software "hooks" to allow developers to create applications to provide "contact tracing," ostensibly to track Covid-19 by knowing who you are meeting with in the event you develop symptoms of the virus.

I use "location services" on my phone as little as possible, but I think this is going to bump things up to a whole new level in terms of lack of privacy. I know many members here don't use smartphones precisely for reasons like this. If we end up with a Democratic administration I am thinking I will only carry burner phones in the future.

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According to a CBS affiliate:

A representative from Apple said that in order for the exposure notification API (which is in the new update) to work, "the users still have to download a contact tracing app that allows them to participate in a contact tracing program."

That being said, the representative explained that "if a user does download such an app, one of the protections built into the API is that they can turn the system off at any time."

So there’s no way to avoid getting the exposure notification API onto your phone when you download the new update, but you do have the ability to turn off its access if and when you choose to download a contact tracing app provided by a public health organization.


So at least according to Apple (and I am not saying I trust them) just getting the new update does not enable any tracking on its own. You would have to download a COVID contact tracing app for that to happen, and even if you did that, you could turn off the tracing at any time.

The problem of course is what the government could do down the road. Iran is known to have pushed out a mandatory "security update" on it's citizens' phones that allows the government to track whatever people do on their phones. In Australia, phone providers are required to hold two years of data relating to the use of each mobile phone on their network, including location information.

BTW, the US government can track you now if it wants to, even without this new update and apps. It is suspected that they can even get access to your phone's microphone, even when you are not on a call. That may be conspiracy theory, but it is technically possible.
 

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I have a couple of solutions. The best is this...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A7MACL2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

We used the forensic bags these folks make when computers and phones were seized under warrant to prevent any access while in custody. IIRC they make one you can put a tower-size PC in and works through gloves while it is Faraday blocked. The military uses these as well.

Here is the manufacturer's website...

https://mosequipment.com/

I have an IPhone 8 that is another hand-me-down from my granddaughter. I noticed the IOS update and the notes about the software "hooks". I don't use this thing as a cell phone (I have another hand-me-down for that) so I can turn location services and internet connections off. Everything else periodically goes in the Mission Darkness bag. That little process messes up the GPS tracing of your movements, and some other things. I have nothing to hide. I just like to mess with their minds.

BTW here is a link to a reputable site with the story about some of the newer tools the government can use to track phones. Note that this report is 5 years old.

https://money.cnn.com/2014/11/13/technology/security/federal-planes-spy/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
According to a CBS affiliate:

A representative from Apple said that in order for the exposure notification API (which is in the new update) to work, "the users still have to download a contact tracing app that allows them to participate in a contact tracing program."

That being said, the representative explained that "if a user does download such an app, one of the protections built into the API is that they can turn the system off at any time."

So there’s no way to avoid getting the exposure notification API onto your phone when you download the new update, but you do have the ability to turn off its access if and when you choose to download a contact tracing app provided by a public health organization.


So at least according to Apple (and I am not saying I trust them) just getting the new update does not enable any tracking on its own. You would have to download a COVID contact tracing app for that to happen, and even if you did that, you could turn off the tracing at any time.

The problem of course is what the government could do down the road. Iran is known to have pushed out a mandatory "security update" on it's citizens' phones that allows the government to track whatever people do on their phones. In Australia, phone providers are required to hold two years of data relating to the use of each mobile phone on their network, including location information.

BTW, the US government can track you now if it wants to, even without this new update and apps. It is suspected that they can even get access to your phone's microphone, even when you are not on a call. That may be conspiracy theory, but it is technically possible.
Yes, I am aware of all that, based on what Edward Snowden wrote. I just don't want to make things any easier for them than it already is. Guess I will have to invest in OldChap's solution.
 
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I just looked on our state's COVID web page and there is a link to another page where you can check yourself to see if you have the symptoms. It is an APPLE page. They "say" they collect general data for page usage but do not keep your information that you input into the check your symptoms questions. Yeah, right. I clicked out as soon as I read that.

I don't have any symptoms but was curious to see what the list of them was. Not going to find out through Apple anything!

As mentioned before, we stick with our old flip phones. I hope they keep working as long as we need them! I wouldn't even trust a new dumb phone anymore.
 

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Count me out of any app that traces me but I wouldn't be surprised if this "opt-in" option is removed, "for our own good and that of others".

Then we'll have to decide if a cell phone is worth it or not, or get a bag like OldChap mentioned.
 

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Almost anything falls within the realm of possibility. There is a reason Mrs. Clinton had her people destroy their Blackberrys with hammers.
 

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Count me out of any app that traces me but I wouldn't be surprised if this "opt-in" option is removed, "for our own good and that of others".

Then we'll have to decide if a cell phone is worth it or not, or get a bag like OldChap mentioned.
Odds are you'll download it in an "update" and won't even know it.
 

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@OldChap: Good info. I was thinking about those pouches, but I was worried about my family not being able to get ahold of me. One thing I found out though is they still make pagers. They are not expensive, they are very small, and the cheaper ones are "receive only," nothing to track.
 

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Some conspiracy theories of yesteryear are just oh well ho hum facts today.

I gotta hunch wearing the Mark ain't gonna be all it's cracked up to be either. Well I'm off to the mailbox to see if my stimulus check has arrived.
 

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Want to foil their nefarious plans?

Just leave the phone at the house when you go somewhere.

Although it may be hard to believe, at one time we didn't have cell phones and we got along just fine.

We did get along but cell phones have made life so much easier and I wouldn't want to be out driving today without mine. I'd hate to go back to the days of trying to find a public phone to make a call.

We got along without electricity and cars too, but life is so much better with them.

Cell phones are a double edged sword in a lot of ways.
 

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IDK...what hints do I get from a phone named after a fruit?
Probably the social preferences of the people who designed it!

Although semantically, to compare "apples to apples" (pun intended) Android is an operating system, the Apple version of which is iOS. "Apple" is the manufacturer, which would be analogous to Samsung, LG, etc. for Android phones.

And to support your comment on your last post, I can't remember when I have even seen a public pay phone, except maybe at an airport, in a long time.
 

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Probably the social preferences of the people who designed it!

Although semantically, to compare "apples to apples" (pun intended) Android is an operating system, the Apple version of which is iOS. "Apple" is the manufacturer, which would be analogous to Samsung, LG, etc. for Android phones.

And to support your comment on your last post, I can't remember when I have even seen a public pay phone, except maybe at an airport, in a long time.
Nowadays pay phones are like honest politicians, very few and far between.
 
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