A few days ago, someone had the bright idea to silently and without consent push a government made mobile phone application onto everyone's devices (for your own good).

The scope of what this propriety application does is still not verified.

Regardless of intent or application functionality, This undeniably, is not okay. A government installing a software without notice or consent onto their population's devices is not something a healthy functioning democracy does, it's what a psychotic paranoid despot does. If the Mass Gov truly wants to minimize harm this is the opposite of what needs to be done. All this will do is drive conspiracy theories and deepen a very legitimate mistrust in the institutions that plague the USA (which helped give rise to people like donald trump).

This app does not have a launcher icon. To uninstall this app on android, go to settings -> applications and list all the applications, scroll down until you find it, tap the app's icon, tap force stop and then tap uninstall.

Update This application cannot be permanently removed as it seems to have re-installed itself onto my device every time I uninstall it. This application is akin to persistent malware by my definitions and I will be researching it's internals in order to determine how to properly migitgate it via my local network filtration. This is not acceptable.

If this event bothers you consider leaving a review on the application on gplay with a rating you think it deserves: here.

knowing your exact location at all times is a public health issue and totally cannot be abused for monetary gain

The fundmanetal problem here is you can just not do business with google, that choice isn't there with the government. Also, the local government wants to know your exact location at all times, you know, for public safety reasons, nothing else. Don't worry about the possible 3rd party abuses that may occur by collecting such information. What could possibly go wrong?! For those outside the USA, In the states, nothing is more permanent than a "temporary" government program. Even if the local government doesn't abuse this information, if the app is implemented poorly or has a bug a third party can abuse it (which is an unfortunately all too common trend).

hacker news on this topic.

Posted at by Jeff     Tags: psa, spyware, massachusetts, government