Google Is Sued for Auto-installing COVID “Spyware” on People’s Phones

A class action lawsuit has been filed against the US state of Massachusetts for what the plaintiffs claim is a case of covert mass surveillance carried out via “Covid spyware” installed on over one million phones. The complaint asks for declaratory and injunctive relief (a bid to legally compel the defendants to fulfill their mandatory duties) and nominative damages, and was filed on November 14, 2022, by the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) non-profit. According to the filing, the DPH teamed up with Google and proceeded to install spyware on more than one million phones in “auto-install” mode, without giving the users a chance to consent to this action, and even without informing them about it. The justification was to combat the pandemic by introducing the Covid tracing app, in a way that the NCLA says violates not only the state’s but the US Constitution as well, blasting it as a brazen disregard for civil liberties that “cannot stand.” The assertion is that this way of warrantless tracking and surveillance of people and of gaining access to their location and personal contacts by a government agency represents a breach of the right to privacy and property. The lawsuit, Wright v. Massachusetts Department of Public Health, et al., alleges that the contentious app tracked and recorded the phone owners’ movements and their contacts, all the while keeping them in the dark – “without their permission or awareness.”