Data privacy vs public health

7 May 2020 9:10 AM | Mark Humphries (Administrator)

There is a global consensus; test, track and trace is the way out of lockdown. To enable track and trace in the UK, NHSX will be rolling out an app that is currently undergoing trials[1]. The UK government has opted for a centralised data collection method, whereby phone to phone contacts are logged centrally and users receive a notification that they are at risk and need to self-isolate. An alternative de-centralised model has been proposed by Apple and Google whereby all users receive details of confirmed cases and the phone itself then notifies the user that that they are at risk and should self-isolate[2].

The effectiveness of track and trace will be highly dependent on take up. The more people who use the app, the more effective it will be in identifying and notifying people at risk so that they can self-isolate, preventing the spread of the virus and keeping the all important reproduction rate, R, below 1 so that the rest of the population can safely go about their business.

What do you think? Do you intend to use the app as it is? Or does data privacy trump public health for you? Would you use an app that was based on the de-centralised model?


[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52532435

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52441428




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