Lawsuit accuses Apple of denying COVID app to secure contact tracing monopoly

Apple has been hit with a lawsuit claiming that it rejected a coronavirus contact tracing app to maintain a monopoly in COVID-19 exposure notification. The lawsuit, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the New Hampshire District on Tuesday, centers on a smartphone application called “Coronavirus Reporter” that was denied entry to the App Store in March 2020.

Apple-Google COVID-19 contact-tracing scheme
Apple-Google COVID-19 contact-tracing scheme

Mike Peterson for AppleInsider:

Coronavirus Reporter, the lawsuit claims, was developed by a team of healthcare and computer science experts in February 2020 to “capture and obtain critical biostatistical and epidemiological data as it happened.”

The team behind the app completed its development on March 3, the complaint continues. That’s about the time that Apple barred coronavirus-related apps that weren’t from recognized medical, government, or other institutions from the App Store.

After Apple rejected Coronavirus Reporter, the app’s developers appealed. The title was ultimately rejected some 20 days later because it was not backed by a recognized healthcare company and its “user-generated data has not been vetted for accuracy by a reputable source.”

The complaint says that Apple allowed another app that functioned similarly onto the App Store about a month later. It also takes issue with the Apple and Google Exposure Notification framework, which it says is “largely a failure.”

The lawsuit alleges that Apple blocked Coronavirus Reporter in an effort to maintain a monopoly on contact tracing applications.

MacDailyNews Take: After that, Apple launched a concerted effort to maintain a monopoly on buggy whips and typewriters, both of which are in higher use than contract-tracing apps (which are nothing more than a ruse for Apple and perpetual tagalong Google to thwart any potential government-mandated privacy incursions aside and to provide pablum for the masses).

As we’re explained since the idea first appeared, COVID-19 contact-tracing apps were destined to fail.

The more we hear about this “system,” the more we are convinced that Apple undertook this obviously quixotic quest in order to get out ahead on digital COVID-19 contact tracing, and drag along perpetual-follower Google, before governments were able to go full throttle on their own Orwellian schemes.MacDailyNews, May 4, 2020

These apps aren’t going to work for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 very well or at all (see why here, here and here), but they are going to provide excellent legal cover, which is necessary, especially in more litigious countries, for all of us to get back to life.MacDailyNews, May 22, 2020

At the very least, and perhaps the primary impetus for the creation of these apps at universities and everywhere else, is that the existence of such apps relieve universities and everyone else from LIABILITY under the law. Look at digital contact tracing apps as a buffer for getting back to school, work, leisure activities, sports, travel, etc. without the fear of being sued.

Schools, restaurants, airlines, retailers, everyone will be able to say: “The apps exist. Not our fault if too few people use them. Get well soon, as do 99.72% (99.91% under age 65) of people who contract COVID-19!”

This is the real reason why digital contact tracing apps exist: Absolvement of legal liability.MacDailyNews, May 22, 2020

The whole thing is basically a pacifier.

Even if you forwent the smartphones (1 in 5 people don’t even have a smartphone in the U.S., for example; 1 in 6 in the U.K.) and instead sent a dedicated contact-tracing bracelet to every single person in the country, you’d still be stuck with widespread non-compliance, inability to force compliance in many countries, non-charged / forgotten / lost bracelets, Bluetooth issues, false positives, etc., etc., etc.

Contact tracing / exposure notification apps are nothing more than pablum for the masses. It’s simply a case of governments wanting to be able to tell citizens, “Want to feel safe while getting back to work, shopping, going out to eat, vacationing, etc.? There’s an app for that.”

“Don’t worry. Be happy. Download this app and go about your business, before the economy is irrevocably decimated.”

Might these apps help in some cases to get the relatively few people who will use them to seek testing or self-quarantine if/when the alarm goes off? Of course. But, overall, these apps are little more than security blankets for the citizenry to clutch on their way to herd immunity / vaccine and, for governments that use a centralized system (unlike this one), to track the spread of infections on the way to herd immunity.

More about the myriad issues of Bluetooth COVID-19 contact tracing apps can be found in our Takes
here, here and here.
— MacDailyNews, September 24, 2020


  1. Unless the App also can detect infection, it was never meant to ‘mitigate’ covid spread. It is meant to allow those to participate to be informed of a possible exposure after the fact and take steps to verifying and quarantining oneself and allow that person to contact those they were in contact with. Anyone telling you it is a ‘mitigation’ method (MDN) is ill informed.

    1. A position inherited from his OCD, narcissistic founder and I’ve shared your point of view since there was a thing called the App Approval Process, not just for their store, but for the whole platform.

  2. Per your logic (and curious passion), I have to wonder if you also follow garbage trucks around just for fun and possibly to pick up some interesting things that fall off the truck?

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