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Screenshot of CA Notify website. A proposed class action is asking a federal court to order Google to fix an alleged security threat that makes the company’s COVID-19 contact-tracing system developed with Apple less “privacy-preserving” than the tech giants claimed.

Nearly 40 countries and dozens of U.S. states, including California, use the Google-Apple Exposure Notification System (GAEN) for their coronavirus contact-tracing apps. The system leverages Bluetooth technology and deploys safeguards such as randomized identifiers, called rolling proximity identifiers or RPIs, and decentralized storage on devices to protect users’ privacy.

In a complaint filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, attorneys from Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein assert that dozens of third parties might have access to the system’s stored data on mobile devices, including personally identifiable information and potential COVID-19 exposure results.

Alaina Lancaster

Alaina Lancaster, based in San Francisco, covers disruptive trends and technologies shaping the future of law. She authors the weekly legal futurist newsletter What's Next. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @a_lancaster3

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