UNEXPECTEDLY: The iOS COVID-19 app ecosystem has become a privacy minefield. “The results show that only 47 of that subset of 359 apps use Google and Apple’s more privacy-friendly exposure-notification system, which restricts apps to only Bluetooth data collection. More than six out of seven COVID-19-focused iOS apps worldwide are free to request whatever privacy permissions they want, with 59 percent asking for a user’s location when in use and 43 percent tracking location at all times. Albright found that 44 percent of COVID-19 apps on iOS asked for access to the phone’s camera, 22 percent of apps asked for access to the user’s microphone, 32 percent asked for access to their photos, and 11 percent asked for access to their contacts.”
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