No one has got into your smartphone and installed a ” secret COVID-19 app “.
“What you’re actually seeing is the groundwork that Apple and Google have done to allow governments and health agencies to develop their own COVID-19 trackers, and also to give the end-user the ability to turn the feature off if they want to. It’s not an app (technically it’s the API framework), and only approved apps can make use of the feature.”
It’s the framework within the operating system on your smartphone that will allow such an app to function once it becomes available and if you decide to install it.
Lets be clear : nobody can or will install a COVID-19 tracking app on your phone but you – when you do install an app you will have to agree to the various permissions the application requires to work effectively and you the end-user is in control of it. From installing the app, to removing it and erasing the data.
Apple rolled this out as part of its iOS 13.5 update for the iPhone.
You can find it by going Settings > Privacy > Health under COVID-19 Exposure Logging. There it explains that an authorised app is required to turn the feature on.
For Android, Google rolled this out as part of an update to the Google app pushed via the Google Play Store, as opposed to users having to wait — potentially forever — for an Android update.
For Android, go Settings > Google and click on COVID-19 exposure notifications, where you’ll get all the details.