Civics: Taxpayer Funded Warrantless Spying: Android edition

Jessica Lyons Hardcastle:

At least two dozen other states also developed COVID-19 apps using Google APIs, but they used community outreach to encourage residents to voluntarily download the apps and opt-in for contact tracing, the court documents say. 

Massachusetts, they allege “is the only state to surreptitiously embed the Contact Tracing App on mobile devices that DPH locates within its borders, without obtaining the owners’ knowledge or consent.”  

This violates Android device owners’ federal privacy and unreasonable search protections as well as the state’s computer crime laws, according to the lawsuit, which also names the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke as a defendant.

“The Massachusetts DPH, like any other government actor, is bound by state and federal constitutional and legal constraints on its conduct,” Peggy Little, NCLA senior litigation counsel, said in a statement. “This ‘android attack,’ deliberately designed to override the constitutional and legal rights of citizens to be free from government intrusions upon their privacy without their consent, reads like dystopian science fiction — and must be swiftly invalidated by the court.”