Some users have discovered how anew option in the settings of your mobile phones.On devicesAndroidif one goes to “Settings” -> “Google” the option appears“Notice of exposures to covid-19”, and that has made you wonder why that option appears suddenly and without prior notice. Are Google and Apple deploying this without notice and “spying on us” ?, pointed out some users and Javier Pastor analyzes in Xataca.

Nothing of that. Both Apple and Google already warned days ago that their API for government contact tracking apps to work were already beginning to roll out.That new option is harmless and is totally inactivebecause at the moment there are no official applications that can take advantage of it.Neither Google nor Apple are spying on us, something that they have insisted on communicating from the beginning. When this option is activated, the user will remain under control (it is necessary to ‘opt-in’), and at no time will location information be collected, for example.

Apple and Google are preparing the deployment of contact tracking apps, without further ado

Messaging applications such as WhatsApp have served to broadcast a video in which, for example, a user tells how “we just realized that the government has already put us an application for covid-19”.

In this video, the user comments that “I did not ask for anything to be put on me, they have put it on me without saying anything” and highlights that “we are already being controlled here”. The head of communication at Google Spain and Portugal already clarified those doubts that arose among some users a few days ago:“These messages are a hoax: neither are we launching an app, nor are we secretly installing it, nor are we spying on anyone”, he explained.

The Government has not put anything on our phones: Google and Apple have been warning for weeks about how they will deploy their contact tracking solution, whichwill allow users who want to participate in that effort to collaborate in that trackingof contacts using mobile applications developed by the governments of each country in collaboration with the health authorities of those countries.

To be able to use these applications, Google and Apple have already explained how those options would appear in the settings of our mobiles and how this option would be deployed on Android and iOS-based phones throughout the month of May.

This option is already appearing on the phones of some users who may have been surprised. However the option is harmless, it is disabled andIt does nothing because there are currently no applications that can take advantage of it.

If we click on this option we will be able to see how the options that we can control (“Delete random IDs” and “Deactivate exposure notifications”) are disabled because there is not yet an application that works with this API implemented by Google and Apple.