How to opt out of COVID-19 contact tracing in iOS 13.5

Apple in iOS 13.5 has introduced an “exposure notification” (née “contact tracing”) API designed to allow apps created by developers working with governments worldwide to notify users of such apps that they’ve come into “contact” with someone who has COVID-19 and potentially been exposed to the virus.

Both Apple’s and Google’s “exposure notification” APIs enable interoperability between iOS and Android devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.

Next, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This promises to be a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities.

In Apple’s iOS 13.5, you can opt out of COVID-19 “exposure notification.”

contact tracing opt out: Apple's iOS 13.5 COVID-19 Exposure Notifications can be turned off
Apple’s iOS 13.5 COVID-19 Exposure Notifications can be turned off

Here’s how to opt out of COVID-19 contact tracing in iOS 13.5

1. Open the Settings app.
2. Scroll down and tap on Privacy.
3. Tap on Health.
4. Tap on COVID-19 Exposure Logging.
5. Tap the toggle to turn the feature off.

COVID-19 Exposure Logging is set to “Off” by default.

Receiving Exposure Notifications also requires downloading an app from a public health organization that uses the API and agreeing to its terms and conditions.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s easy enough to opt out of contact tracing and, better yet, each app will have to ship with that toggle in the “off” position and ask users for their permission to toggle it on.


    1. I’m curious to know what your alternatives would be.. since any others I’ve seen are more concerning. Or are you just hoping this will just go away again in a future update?

      1. No I’ll just wait a while and see what happens. But then again it might be a long time before I would need an alternative. Definitely don’t need one in the near future.

      1. There is still lots of “technology” that I can keep complete control of and have fun with. Things never stay the same and at some point I may adjust but I will be the one to make the decision of what when and how. Who knows at some point I may opt in but I haven’t seen anything yet that convinces me it would be worthwhile.

    1. I don’t know. Privacy rights. HiPAA rights. No guarantee it’s correct. Paranoia about being in the same place with someone who MAY have had it. Want to split up a protest? How about the app just say someone there has it? The first step to giving up personal rights is saying – I don’t do anything wrong, access away. But what if we are not the judge of what is right and what is wrong anymore? I’d prefer not to give them the first green light.

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