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Total Noob February 23rd, 2022 01:55 PM

App deletion
Do Android apps really die and go to Hell if you delete them?

I got an iHealth government Covid test in the mail yesterday and the packaging insinuated that using its app was a required part of the testing process.


Scan the QR Code to download the "iHealth Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test" App on smartphone.

Follow the instructional video in "iHealth Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test" App to quickly start the test.
I have avoided QR scanners because I read somewhere that they are full of malware and existence is primarily about transmitting your physical location to their advertising sponsors, and I read somewhere else that the codes themselves can be polluted but installed one because the packaging on the test implied it was a requirement.

Anyway, the first QR scanner didn't work at all, so I removed it and installed a second QR scanner, and scanning the code on the back referred me to the website of some cockamamie electronics company. Ultimately it turned out that a second QR code on the packaging -- one on the side of the small box which refused to come into focus initially. But after a lengthy delay, it finally came into focus and I was referred to the correct app, which I was about to install but which loaded first into my Blue Stacks enabled desktop.

At that point I learned the app consisted of an extensive registration requiring lots of personal info, a youtube on how to administer the test redundant to the written instructions in the box and a countdown timer that rings when results are ready and that's it. Since I didn't need to take the test, I didn't register or find out whether I had to gift any more personal information to the manufacturer, and according to its T&C, its advertising partners and sponsors. But it did require full camera and memory access ostensibly to function better though I did not immediately see how having that allowed it to function better as a youtube provider and countdown timer.

So as best I can tell Covid test recipients are duped by false packaging into having to give up privacy to iHealth for no apparent benefit other than to see the video and get the countdown, both of which are superfluous, and into allowing the QR scanner provider and all the other app makers with the additional info that you think you have Covid 19 and your whereabouts.

FWIW, iHealth compounded the problem by being incommunicado. Its phone was either down or under a suspension and its communication form was broken, and no regular email address was shown. I sent an email to its E.U. unit and it said it would forward the same to the American unit, but so far nothing as it has very, very limited hours despite the crisis and the millions of its products distributed and it says on its website to expect delays (even though it is incommunicado).

Anyway, I deleted all the apps but I did not go through all the T&C with a fine tooth comb (not that app makers who pollute their apps with trackers even follow them) to find out if my permission endures past deletion so I don't know if I basically signed away my privacy from them forever or if I have lost privacy regardless of T&C.

Do apps really go to Hell if you delete them? Or is iHealth and the QR scanner makers part of my life forever?


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