About the Exposure Notifications System and Android location settings

On Android 10 and earlier, the Exposure Notifications System uses your phone’s Location setting and Bluetooth. There are several ways you can manage your privacy with this system. 

On Android 11, the Exposure Notifications System does not require the phone's Location setting to be on. Learn how to check and update your Android version. 

The Exposure Notifications System does not use your location data

Apps that use the Exposure Notifications System are not permitted to request permission to use your device location.

Why your phone’s location setting needs to be on

The Exposure Notification technology uses Bluetooth scanning to understand what devices are near one another. On phones running Android 6.0 to 10, the Exposure Notifications System uses Bluetooth scanning. For Bluetooth scanning to work, the device location setting needs to be turned on for all apps, not just apps built with the Exposure Notifications System.

Google and Apple have built in safeguards to ensure that government contact tracing apps built with ENS cannot infer your location. This is done through the rotation of random IDs assigned to your device, so that no one can track your individual device. The random IDs do not contain any information about your location when they exchange with other devices in the system.

Control how your location data is used

The Exposure Notifications System does not use device location. We've prevented public health authority apps using ENS from requesting access to your device's location.

To control location access for individual apps:

  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Tap Location and then App permissions.
  3. Adjust each individual app's permissions. 

Important: When you turn on device location by itself, you will not change any of the app-level location permissions or controls. 

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