Google removed the Iranian government-developed app to test and track COVID-19 infections (AC19) from its app marketplace, Play Store. Before going down, users accused the Iranian government of using the panic over COVID-19 to trick users into installing apps and then collecting users’ mobile phone numbers and real-time location data.
Researchers at security firm ESET say the analysis of the application of APK shows that it is not a malicious Trojan or spy program.
Sources familiar with the Play Store policy point out that Google’s off-shelf app may be primarily a misleading claim that the app claims to detect COVID-19 infections, which is virtually impossible for the app to do.
AC19 was released last week, and Iran’s Ministry of Health then texted all people urging them to install an app to check for SYMPTOMs of COVID-19 infection.