Here's all you need to know.
The Iran government-backed app, AC19, promises to be a tool that the public could use to check if they have been infected by the novel coronavirus.
However, in reality, that is just a front; VICE reports that the app works like a surveillance tool, which steals the real-time location of users and sends it back to the government's servers.
The sneaky nature of the AC19 app makes it even more dangerous.
Basically, the permission to mine location data appears in English, not Farsi, which keeps the public from understanding what they are opting into.
Also, 40% of the devices in use there are very old, meaning no permission pop-up appears, and the location is shared directly, without any sign or alert.
A security expert analyzed the app and claimed that it's similar to fitness-tracking apps that show your precise movement from one place to another.
"Collecting location data is not a one-off thing," Nariman Gharib, a security researcher told VICE, pointing out, "They can actually track you. If you move your device from location A to B, they can actually see that in real-time."
There's no word on what the Iranian Government is doing by tricking its people into giving away their real-time location.
However, considering that the country is infamous for silencing dissent, this data could easily be used to track down people who may be speaking up, revealing the nation's poor management of the outbreak.
So far, over 600 have died from COVID-19 in Iran.
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