ProPrivacy

Is The UK Contact Tracing App Fit For Purpose Privacy campaigners push for rethink



What’s the Story?

The NHSX contact-tracing app, launched today in the Isle of Wight, will be using the less private and secure centralised data model (meaning user data is stored on a central server) for their contact-tracing app as opposed to a decentralised one, where user data remains on their device.

ProPrivacy is calling on the UK Government to op for the more private and secure de-centralised model before rolling this out across the UK, this will ensure more people will download the app, meaning that the app will have a higher chance of success in helping to stop the spread of the virus.

We have published an open letter to Matt Hancock, asking him to reconsider his position: https://proprivacy.com/privacy-news/open-letter-matt-hancock

What are Digital Privacy Advocates Saying?

While the UK Government may have legitimate reasons for wanting to utilise a centralised data model for the NHSX contact-tracing app, I believe they are going to have to compromise on this if they are going to bring the public on-side and get the numbers they need for it to be effective.

An app that tracks your location constantly, being fed into a centralised server for anyone else to see, is a massive privacy violation. The Government and Matt Hancock have tried to dispel this by saying this information ‘stays on your phone’ until submitted by a user.

This might be true, but when a user confirms they have symptoms, everyone they come into contact with is then alerted, the centralised server will know this. What then happens if these people continue to go about their day to day lives? Will they get a visit from the police?

Tom Chivers, Digital Privacy Advocate at ProPrivacy.


Additional Resources:

ProPrivacy has published a worldwide index of contact-tracing apps. Each app is given a privacy score out of 10: https://proprivacy.com/guides/comparing-contact-tracing-apps-coronavirus-world

The UK solution scored 5/10.

About ProPrivacy:

ProPrivacy is the leading resource for digital freedom. Founded in 2013, the company’s mission is to help users around the world reclaim their right to privacy through research, reviews, knowledge-sharing, investigations, and direct action.


Editors Note: The Government claims the data will be anonymized – however the App's meta-data isn't by its very nature, it interrelates and could be connected to individuals by whomever wishes hack it, track it, use it. Government and the Authorities have not been excluded from access to any of the data. There is no time limit attributed on this App and there is nothing to prevent what amounts to State tracking of the individual through mission creap.


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News title: -    Is The UK Contact Tracing App Fit For Purpose Privacy campaigners push for rethink
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1 message received  26/09/2020 09:38:20  18649