COVID-19: Exposure Logging and Contact Tracing:
Is It Safe?
Part 2

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Copyright 1994 - 2020 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
June 25, 2020

Last Updated :
June 25, 2020


A Troublesome Paragraph In Official Exposure Notification FAQ, Images Of My iPhone's Exposure Logging Settings, Question: Do We Or Do We Not Need To Install An App Before Identifiers Will Be Transmitted And Received?, My Decision To Disable Location Services And Bluetooth, Both Location Services And Bluetooth Are Enabled And Disabled Separately, Trying To Decipher Apple And Google's Cryptic FAQ, Possible Causes For No Coronavirus Notifications Showing On My iPhone, Does Installing iOS 13.5 Imply Automatic Consent For Contact Tracing?, Images Showing Location Services And Bluetooth Disabled, URL For Apple And Google's Exposure Notification FAQ, Underwhelming Interest In Exposure Notification API And Contact Tracing Apps By State Governments, State-By-State Status List, My Personal Position Regarding Obeying Government Mandates Concerning Coronavirus, Closing Comments, Suggested Reading Resources List And More




As I questioned in part one of this article, how is it even possible that my device can already be both transmitting and receiving COVID-19-related Bluetooth identifiers, when to my knowledge, I have by no means fulfilled any of the required steps to allow this to happen, or given my personal consent for my device to do this? To reiterate, I certainly have not enabled "Exposure Logging" on my XS Max iPhone. Neither have I downloaded and installed any contact tracing and exposure notification app on my device. Likewise, I have by no means been positively diagnosed with the coronavirus, or reported any such info to health officials by way of any installed contact tracing app. Yet, as I mentioned in part one, based on my understanding of that paragraph in Apple and Google's FAQ, I am given the clear impression that contact tracing is already happening on my device, without my explicit consent.

For those of my readers who may think that perhaps I am just a little confused, and don't know what settings I have on my iPhone, allow me to share the following photographic evidence with you. These are all screen captures -- or screen shots -- I took today of the pertinent screens on my iPhone. For those of you who have a recent iPhone model, and who have already installed iOS 13.5, you can find these very same settings by going to "Settings -> Privacy -> Health". I have obviously edited the following images so that they only reveal what is necessary in order to make my point. By the way, you will not see these images in the PDF version of this article. You will only see a string of placeholder text. You need to view the online HTML version of this article in order to see each of the images which I share below.

This first image below shows the "COVID-19 Exposure Logging" screen which, as I just said, you can access by simply going to "Settings -> Privacy -> Health" on your Apple device. As you can clearly see, it is in fact set to "Off". Please also notice that the paragraph begins with the two words "When enabled". Yet I do NOT have it enabled, so as far as I know, transmitting and receiving Bluetooth identifiers should NOT be happening:



Now, if you tap on the top part of that screen where it says "COVID-19 Exposure Logging Off" in an attempt to enable the logging feature, you will be taken to the following screen which clearly states that you STILL cannot turn on Exposure Logging, UNLESS you have already installed an authorized contact tracing app -- meaning authorized by Apple -- which is capable of sending exposure notifications to the state health agency's central database. In short, iOS 13.5 stops you in your tracks if it does not detect a properly installed and authorized contact tracing app. I have included an image of the full screen, for those of you who have not yet found it on your devices. As you can see, it displays the status of each part of the Exposure Logging technology which is installed on your device:



Furthermore, once you have downloaded and installed an app from an Apple-authorized state health agency, the same screen clearly explains to you what you can do once Exposure Logging has been enabled. So, there is really no ambiguity about it. That is, until you read the previous troublesome paragraph I shared with you in part one which throws a monkey wrench into my whole understanding regarding how this is supposed to work. So the question remains: Do we, or do we not, need to have an app installed before said Bluetooth identifiers will be transmitted and received? Good question.

Because of my own lack of a clear understanding regarding how Exposure Logging and contact tracing are supposed to work, for the time being, I have chosen to disable both Bluetooth and Location Services on my iPhone. If on your device you go to "Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services", you will see that Apple notes that Location Services "uses GPS, Bluetooth, and crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower locations to determine your approximate location." Please note, however, that enabling Location Services does not automatically enable Bluetooth, or vice versa. In other words, you have to enable -- or disable -- Bluetooth separately by going to "Settings -> Bluetooth" on your device. On my iPhone XS Max running iOS 13.5, "Bluetooth" is locate between "Wi-Fi" and "Cellular" on the initial Settings window.

Now, if my iPhone is still capable of both transmitting and receive COVID-related identifiers even after I have disabled both Bluetooth and Location Services on it, then I am REALLY confused regarding what Apple and Google are saying in their FAQ, because they clearly state that the identifiers rely on Bluetooth. The ONLY way I can make sense out of it all is by concluding that the app is only needed for the purposes of logging data, which would explain why Exposure Logging can't be enabled without the app being installed. However, even if a contact tracing app is not installed on a device, as long as you have Bluetooth enabled, then your device will still be able to transmit and receive COVID-related Bluetooth beacons. That sounds plausible, right?

One thing I know for certain is that in the few times that I have ventured out since the third week of March, I have never once received any on-screen notifications regarding being in the vicinity of someone who is infected with the coronavirus. Considering that my visits have been to medical facilities where one would expect there to be occurrences of COVID-19, it does seem a little odd that I have received zero alerts. That leaves me to consider three possibilities:

1. I truly have not crossed paths with any infected people.

2. No one else in my vicinity has the exposure notification and contact tracing app installed on their device.

3. Contact tracing and exposure notification is actually not working on my device, despite what that troubling paragraph seems to indicate.

Point number one above may very well be the answer. After all, as I mentioned in part one, positive occurrences of COVID-19 on our small island have thankfully been very low since March of this year with only 231 confirmed cases to date. So again, wearing face masks and practicing social distancing has been very effective in our particular case. However, as is likewise occurring in many other places around the world, it has taken its toll on our local economy; particularly being as tourism is one of our primary revenue streams here.

As far as number two above is concerned, it seems to be a moot point. After all, the Exposure Notification FAQ indicates that Bluetooth beacons/identifiers will be transmitted and received even if an app isn't installed on the device. But what I still don't understand is how matching identifiers can occur if the Exposure Logging feature is disabled. After all, for a device to make such matches, requires that it must have two lists of identifiers which can be compared. In my mind, this suggests that it must be logging such data in a database that's stored on the device itself. Yet my iPhone clearly says that Exposure Logging cannot occur until an authorized tracing app has been installed. So I remain confused regarding this issue.

This goes back to a point I made in part one of this article. If Apple is equating installing the iOS 13.5 update with the user giving their automatic consent, does this mean that the minute a person installs iOS 13.5, Bluetooth is also enabled so that beacons can be both transmitted and received, even if the user had previously had Bluetooth disabled on the device? Interesting question. As I said before, I can't remember now what was on my screen when I first installed iOS 13.5. I do remember reading something in the Release Notes, but I don't remember the specific details.

By the way, until this afternoon, I most definitely did have Bluetooth enabled on my iPhone, because I do use it for a few things, such as for iOS 13.5's "Find My" feature. On a number of occasions over the years, I have left a few items on the bus. Accidentally forgetting my iPhone on the bus would be a major inconvenience for me. After all, my XS Max is my only means of communication with my family, clinics, etc. So, in my case, having Bluetooth enabled and using the "Find My" feature is a plus. Or at least it has been until today. Now I am not so sure in light of this contact tracing issue.

As far as possibility number three is concerned, I seriously doubt that contact tracing and exposure notification are just failing to work on my device. My iPhone is in very excellent condition with not a single scratch on its face. It also has plenty of free space being a 256 GB device, and it has the latest version of iOS installed. So, I don't think there are any issues there. One thing which just occurred to me is the possibility that maybe Apple simply has not enabled contact tracing and exposure notification for our region of the world yet. Hmmm . . . now that is an interesting idea to consider.

At any rate, here again is some photographic evidence that I have indeed disabled both Bluetooth and Location Services on my device. This first image shows Location Services disabled on the "Privacy" window:



And this second image likewise shows Bluetooth disabled as well on the main "Settings" window. In fact, as you can see, I have also tightened up the ship by having Airplane Mode, Cellular and Personal Hotspot disabled as well. I never use Airplane Mode or Personal Hotspot, and Cellular is only used when I am out and about and there's no free Wi-Fi available in the area:



By the way, if you are interested in reading the full text of Apple and Google's May 2020 FAQ regarding the Exposure Notification API and contact tracing apps, please refer to the PDF document that is found at the URL below. Hopefully, it will still be available whenever you decide to read this current BBB article:

https://covid19-static.cdn-apple.com/applications/covid19/current/static/contact-tracing/pdf/ExposureNotification-FAQv1.1.pdf

Thus far, based on information I've discovered online, I am given the impression that state government interest in Apple and Google's Exposure Notification API and contact tracing apps has been rather underwhelming. As of the date of this writing, only four American states have agreed to support and utilize the API, and create their own apps. They are Alabama, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia. Below is a current list of American states and their status, based on inquiries which were made to appropriate state government authorities following the April 10, 2020 announcement by Apple and Google regarding the Exposure Notification API.

Please bear in mind that this list is obviously in flux, and that it will more than likely change as time progresses. Who knows. If, as Doctor Anthony Fauci has been warning for some time now, the situation in the United States suddenly grows significantly worse, now that lockdown restrictions are being loosened, and taking into consideration that some anarchists and other foolish people are ignoring the current protocols anyway, more of the states may be inclined to embrace Google and Apple's technology, and will as a result eventually make contact tracing apps available to their constituents.

U.S. State Current Status
Alabama Will Participate
Alaska No Response to Date
Arizona Will Not Participate
Arkansas No Response to Date
California Will Not Participate
Colorado Will Not Participate
Connecticut No Response to Date
Delaware Will Not Participate
Florida No Response to Date
Georgia No Response to Date
Hawaii No Response to Date
Idaho No Response to Date
Illinois No Response to Date
Indiana No Response to Date
Iowa No Response to Date
Kansas No Response to Date
Kentucky No Response to Date
Louisiana No Response to Date
Maine Will Not Participate
Maryland Will Not Participate
Massachusetts No Response to Date
Michigan Will Not Participate
Minnesota No Response to Date
Mississippi No Response to Date
Missouri Will Not Participate
Montana No Response to Date
Nebraska No Response to Date
Nevada No Response to Date
New Hampshire No Response to Date
New Jersey No Response to Date
New Mexico No Response to Date
New York No Response to Date
North Carolina No Response to Date
North Dakota Will Participate
Ohio Will Not Participate
Oklahoma No Response to Date
Oregon No Response to Date
Pennsylvania Will Not Participate
Rhode Island No Response to Date
South Carolina Will Participate
South Dakota Will Not Participate
Tennessee Will Not Participate
Texas Will Not Participate
Utah No Response to Date
Vermont No Response to Date
Virginia Will Participate
Washington Will Not Participate
West Virginia Will Not Participate
Wisconsin Will Not Participate
Wyoming Will Not Participate

As for myself, as I explain in some of my other coronavirus articles and series, I will continue to abide by the various mandates which have been issued by our local government. I do this not only because I remain convinced and believe that this is what God requires of me based on my knowledge of His Word -- that is, being subject unto the higher powers, as per Romans 13 and related verses -- but also because we have seen the effectiveness and positive results of continuing to put into practice social distancing, and observing whatever our government has requested of us. While other places have experienced many thousands of infections, and many thousands of deaths, we have been spared from such tragedies, and have only had five deaths to date, as I mentioned earlier. That tells me that we must be doing something right here, so why change anything? As they say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

With these thoughts I will bring this article to a close. It is my hope that you have found it to be both informative and enlightening, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life as well. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with any other social network, I would appreciate if you would take the time to click or tap on the various sharing links that are found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!

For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server.

BBB Articles:

Coronavirus: Just the Facts, Ma'am
COVID-19, Financial Assistance and Christian Love
Coronavirus: Defiant Christians, Stay Home!
Are Personal Tragedies Due to Sin?
Civil Disobedience and Christian Persecution
Death: Final Battle, Final Victory!
Does God Cause Natural Disasters?
Hurricane Katrina and Other Natural Disasters
The Fruits of Disobedience
Why Doesn't God Heal Me?

BBB Blog Posts:

Coronavirus: Latest Statistics: Bill's Bible Basics Blog
Stop Joking About the Coronavirus
Coronavirus: God Will Silence the Fools
Coronavirus: Be Still and Know That I Am God
Is COVID-19 the New Normal? : Don't Freak Out! Trust the Lord!
Helpful Tips Regarding Using Face Masks and Respirators
Coronavirus: Why Do You Condemn Your Brethren?
Coronavirus: Are You Distracted?
Recording: COVID-19 Safety Tips From Doctor Negrín University Hospital, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Coronavirus: Wake Up, Already!
Coronavirus: 40 Bible Verse Lists Regarding God's Love, Patience, Wrath, Judgments and Repentance
Coronavirus: Where is Your Common Sense?
Coronavirus: More Useful Information
The Doctor Anthony Fauci Debate: My View
Coronavirus: How to Respond to the Pandemic
Coronavirus Kooks -- a poem by Bill Kochman
Coronavirus: Face Masks or Bandanas?
Coronavirus and Beards and Mustaches

BBB KJV Bible Verse Lists:

"Because They Have Forsaken Me" KJV Bible Verse List
"But They Refused to Listen" KJV Bible Verse List
"Cast into Outer Darkness" KJV Bible Verse List
"Chaff of the Ungodly" KJV Bible Verse List
"Condemnation, Damnation and Judgment" KJV Bible Verse List
"Crushing Rock and Rod of Iron" KJV Bible Verse List
"Divine Curses" KJV Bible Verse List
"Don't Provoke God to Anger" KJV Bible Verse List
"Famines and Other Divine Curses" KJV Bible Verse List
"Fear and Peace" KJV Bible Verse List
"Fear God" KJV Bible Verse List
"Fear of the Lord" KJV Bible Verse List
"Fiery Destruction of the Wicked" KJV Bible Verse List
"Flee From the Wrath to Come" KJV Bible Verse List
"God Creates and Uses Evil" KJV Bible Verse List
"God Does Not Afflict Willingly" KJV Bible Verse List
"God is a Consuming Fire" KJV Bible Verse List
"God is Slow to Anger" KJV Bible Verse List
"God Shall Wipe Away All Tears" KJV Bible Verse List
"God Shakes the Earth" KJV Bible Verse List
"God Will Provide Our Needs" KJV Bible Verse List
"God's Axe" KJV Bible Verse List
"God's Desire for Healing and Repentance" KJV Bible Verse List
"God's Divine Mercy" KJV Bible Verse List
"God's Divine Protection" KJV Bible Verse List
"God's Longsuffering [Patience]" KJV Bible Verse List
"God's Love for Us" KJV Bible Verse List
"God's Loving Chastisements" KJV Bible Verse List
"God's Patience With the Wicked" KJV Bible Verse List
"God's Righteous Judgments" KJV Bible Verse List
"God's Vengeance" KJV Bible Verse List
"Godly Fear and Reverence" KJV Bible Verse List
"I Will Bring Evil" KJV Bible Verse List
"I Will Set My Face Against" KJV Bible Verse List
"Life or Death and Blessing or Curse" KJV Bible Verse List
"No Peace for the Sea of the Wicked" KJV Bible Verse List
"Our Sins Won't Remain Hidden" KJV Bible Verse List
"Plagues of the Apocalypse" KJV Bible Verse List
"Rebuke is a Form of Love" KJV Bible Verse List
"Repentance" KJV Bible Verse List
"Return unto Me" KJV Bible Verse List
"Righteousness Exalts a Nation" KJV Bible Verse List
"Sword and Fire of God's Word" KJV Bible Verse List
"We Don't Get What We Deserve" KJV Bible Verse List
"Wrath of God" KJV Bible Verse List

Bill's Bible Basics Coronavirus Information Center:

Bill's Bible Basics Coronavirus Information Center


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EXTERNAL CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES:

For anyone who may be interested, the ArcGIS Online website -- which is a cloud-based mapping and analysis service -- is tracking the global spread of the novel coronavirus. The site has live updates. There is both a desktop version as well as a mobile version of their trackers. You can access both of them at the URLs below, assuming that they are still active at the time that you read this current series:

Desktop Tracker:

ArcGIS Online Coronavirus Desktop Tracker

Mobile Tracker:

ArcGIS Online Coronavirus Mobile Tracker

The United States-based CDC -- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- offers current information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic at the following URL:

CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Page

The World Health Organization -- WHO -- also offers current information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic at the following URL:

WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Page

You can learn about different types, ratings and classes of face masks -- or respirators, as they are medically called -- at the following Wikipedia URL:

Wikipedia Face Masks / Respirators Info Page

"nCoV Monitor" is a coronavirus statistics monitoring app for both macOS and iOS. It can be downloaded at this URL:

"nCoV Monitor" coronavirus statistics monitoring app

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