UK Virus Tracking App Goes On Trial

Updated 6th May

A mobile phone App made for the British NHS health service aimed at limiting a second wave of coronavirus is being trialed on the Isle of Wight, an isolated community in the South of the country. It will be the first place in the UK where the new contact-tracing app will be used before being rolled out more widely.

Millions of people in the UK will soon be asked to track their movements to limit the spread of coronavirus and the government is hiring 18,000 people to trace the contacts of those infected, to help with the automation of tracking the spread of the virus. 

Using Bluetooth, the free smartphone app will track users when they come into contact with each other, automating the tracing process. If a user develops coronavirus symptoms, the disclosure will trigger an anonymous alert to users with whom they have recently had contact, enabling those people to go into quarantine and be tested. 

Likely Problems

The UK is one of the few countries that has decided to centralise its strategy for its contact tracing app, however security and IT experts have warned that the app will not work unless people have it running constantly, with their phone always switched on.  

An Oxford University Professor Christophe Fraser said that “lives would have been saved” if the government had begun contact tracing earlier. He also says that with the new app at least 60% of the Isle of White population will need to download the app for it to be effective.

There are also concerns that self-reporting symptoms might prove to be both unreliabe and possibly in breach of UK data protection laws, although the NHS says that any data collected will be anonymised and used soley for the purpose of health protection.

The App has raised concerns about the government and third parties being given access to people’s data, although its use will not be mandatory in Britain, unlike in China where the rate of infection has fallen dramatically.

Epidemiologists advising the NHS say that about 56% of the UK population, which is about 80% of smartphone owners need to use the app in order to suppress the virus, although the spread of the disease could still be slowed even if the take-up is lower than the target.  The NHS hope more than half of the 80,000 households on the Isle of Wight would download the app. A senior government Minster said "When it comes to contract tracing, the more people who download the app developed by the NHS the better... Knowing this is a contribution that all of us can make to helping to keep our communities and neighbours safe is a very powerful incentive." 

The app is understood to be only one among a number measures being taken to try to bring the virus under control as Britain attempts to slow the epidemic and move to ending the lockdown. 

The British parliamentary opposition Labour Party has criticised use of the App and claims there are shortcomings in the government's plan as not everybody has a smartphone and there are issues around privacy and security, not least the dependence upon  location services on their mobile devices which can be turned on and off at the users discretion.

What Is Contact Tracing?

Contact tracing is a method used to slow down the spread of infectious outbreaks. It is commonly used in sexual health clinics, when infected patients are told to contact anyone with whom they have been intimate with. In the coronavirus pandemic, it means tracking down anyone sufferers have been in prolonged contact with, to potentially ask them to self-isolate. This is often done through phone calls to the friends and family of coronavirus sufferers, complemented by an automated location tracking mobile app. 

Contact tracing has been credited with helping to lift restrictions in other countries, when combined with other measures.

Unlike contact tracing in sexual health clinics, it can be difficult to know who you've come into close enough contact with to spread coronavirus.Scientists don't entirely agree what "close contact" is and the World Health Organisation recommends staying one metre apart, while the UK government recommends two.

Mobile Health News:       BBC:       Sky:       BBC:      Spectator:    OrderOrder:     

You Might Also Read: 

Incompatible: Privacy & The Internet of Things:

China’s Electronic Surveillance Program Targets Muslims:

 

 

 

« Zoom 5.0 Aims To Reduce 'Zoom Bombing'
Britain Cracks Down On Corona Crime »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Our Supplier Directory lists 6,000+ specialist cyber security service providers in 128 countries worldwide. IS YOUR ORGANISATION LISTED?

Practice Labs

Practice Labs

Practice Labs is an IT competency hub, where live-lab environments give access to real equipment for hands-on practice of essential cybersecurity skills.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

Jooble

Jooble

Jooble is a job search aggregator operating in 71 countries worldwide. We simplify the job search process by displaying active job ads from major job boards and career sites across the internet.

Nimbusec

Nimbusec

Nimbusec scans your website around the clock and informs immediately if it has been hacked or manipulated

PakCERT

PakCERT

PakCERT is the national Computer Emergency Response Team for Pakistan.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

VTT is the leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries. Areas of activity include cyber security.

Veriato

Veriato

Veriato develops intelligent solutions that provide companies with visibility into the human behaviors and activities occurring within their network, making them more secure and productive.

CyberPrism

CyberPrism

CyberPrism provides SaaS solutions using proprietary technology, underpinned by industry-leading technical practitioners to protect OT within Government, Maritime and Industrial markets.

NSIDE Attack Logic

NSIDE Attack Logic

NSIDE Attack Logic simulates real-world cyber attacks to detect vulnerabilities in corporate networks and systems.

Office of the National Security Council (UVNS) - Croatia

Office of the National Security Council (UVNS) - Croatia

UVNS coordinates, harmonizes the adoption and controls the implementation of information security measures and standards in the Republic of Croatia.

Dutch Innovation Park

Dutch Innovation Park

Dutch Innovation Park in Zoetermeer is a breeding ground for applied IT solutions in the field of cyber security, e-health, smart mobility and big data.

TechForing Ltd.

TechForing Ltd.

TechForing Ltd. works for business organization's cyber security and cyber crime incident managements. We help business to secure their business online.

Towerwall

Towerwall

Towerwall offers a comprehensive suite of security services and solutions using best-of-breed tools and information security services.

AMSYS Innovative Solutions

AMSYS Innovative Solutions

AMSYS is a full-service, 24/7/365 IT solutions, Cybersecurity & Managed Service Provider.

SK Shieldus

SK Shieldus

SK shieldus are a converged security provider with business capabilities in both cybersecurity and physical security based on Big-Tech.

Saudi Information Technology Company (SITE)

Saudi Information Technology Company (SITE)

SITE is a forward-thinking enterprise, which aims at revitalizing Saudi Arabia’s digital infrastructure, cybersecurity, software development, and big data and analytics capabilities.

Orca Technology

Orca Technology

Orca is a UK-based Managed Service Provider delivering end-to-end managed IT services, support, hosted desktop, cloud solutions and strategic guidance.

Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech)

Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech)

WaTech operates the state’s core technology infrastructure – the central network and data center, provides strategic direction for cybersecurity and protects state networks from growing cyber threats.

Barquin Solutions

Barquin Solutions

Barquin Solutions is a full-service information technology consulting firm focused on supporting U.S. federal government agencies and their partners.