The claim: Google automatically signed up all Android users for a COVID-19 tracing app.
New mobile contact tracing technology aimed at minimizing the spread of COVID-19 has prompted claims on social media that Google automatically updated all Android devices with a tracing app.
A June 3 Facebook posting reads, “Android users BEWARE, google automatically signed you up to COVID-19 tracing app.”
The post then goes on to urge Android users to turn off COVID-19 exposure notifications under Usage & Diagnostics in their Google Services in the device’s settings.
Other similar posts claim that a “COVID-19 sensor has been secretly installed on every phone.”
The claim follows reports that public health officials and technology companies are working on contact tracing methods to identify people who have been near someone infected with the coronavirus. Similar claims appeared on social media platforms in May — and have been debunked — after Congress introduced