This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
New covid19 app(39 Posts)
Ok apologies if theres already a thread on this but I couldn't find it.
So the uk government is making an app which will track everywhere you go and everyone you come into contact with for "contact tracing " this app will be a background app and work constantly. Am I the only one who is very concerned about this and not wanting the uk government to be tracking people.
I know that they claim that it will be run by the NHS and will be "anonymous data" and that they need 80% of smartphones users to download it for it to be effective and it's "for our own benefit " and will help "lift lockdown sooner " and no I am an antivaxer of conspiracy nut but it just feels very wrong and I don't want it on my phone. Can someone please talk some sense into me or reassure me that I've not suddenly joined the tin foil that brigade.
It's possible to trace contacts without tracking your location:
The system could be set up where you phone generates a new ID every few seconds-days and broadcasts that to other phones. If it detects you are near another phone for more than a few minutes (e.g. sitting near someone on a bus) it adds that ID to its database. If a person tests positive, the IDs they used from a number of days before symptoms showed will then be broadcast and your phone can compare those to its internal list. The question will be whether this is voluntary and how easy it will be for someone to declare themselves positive. For example, they could hand over their IDs to a government system at the point of testing, which then has the sole authority to pass them on, preventing malicious false positive reporting; they could also be issued with a code they can enter in the even of a positive, preventing malicious reporting but also preventing the government from holding any data or, finally, people could be able to declare themselves positive without any verification, taking control completely out of the hands of the government but also leaving the biggest opportunity for false positives.
Crucially, in any of these scenarios, informing those who are in contact with infected persons can be done without ever passing the list of who has been in contact with who to a central database. Also, no specific location data ever needs to be collected.
If a person tests positive, the IDs they used from a number of days before symptoms showed will then be broadcast
To clarify, this means online, not via Bluetooth, which is used for the actual contact tracking.
If it is true that the contract for this has been awarded to an associate of Dominic Cummings then there is zero chance of me engaging with it.
I'm not very tech savvy so please bare with me. If your ID is changing regularly surely that's a bit counterintuitive as not only does someone have to track all of those IDs for each phone and then match all of this information when someone has a positive test (assuming you can get 1) .
Also if they are contacting people who you have been in contact with days ago that data must have been stored in some kind of database?
I worry about being tracked due to a stalker who has previously used my NHS records to track me down after I had to move due to his crazy behaviour, so am rather paranoid about it
You arent alone op.
I will definitely look into it and consider signing up. But, DC being involved bothers me. As does the governments ability to keep our data safe and other data issue
I am also not convinced how well it will work. I have already seen people saying they are getting a second cheap phone for it. Or they will leave their phone at home. Lots are saying they won't download it.
So the benefits remain to be seen.
As I said, i will consider it. I just want more information first. You arent alone in being concerned.
If your ID is changing regularly surely that's a bit counterintuitive as not only does someone have to track all of those IDs for each phone and then match all of this information when someone has a positive test (assuming you can get 1)
Ideally (in terms of privacy, which will help encourage use), only your phone will hold the list of all the IDs it's used and the IDs of other phones it has encountered. Imagine if each person were able to make a book of raffle tickets with numbers on that's unique to them (you can do this with similar maths to that used in encryption). You keep one copy of each number and hand the other one to each person you stand near for more than a couple of minutes. If that person finds out they're infected, they go through all the raffle tickets they collected over the past number of days and write their numbers on a big board. You walk past the board and compare those numbers to your raffle ticket stubs. Only you are able to know which numbers correspond to you.
Even if a snooper wanted to correspond your raffle ticket numbers to your real name, they'd have to encounter you every time you changed numbers and they still wouldn't know where you'd been.
Doesn't bother me one bit. Great idea!
They need to be clear on what happens to data.
I bet they could get to 80% if there was a small financial incentive for downloading and using though eg points adding up to say £10/month
There's no way that I'd sign up for this - not with this government in control and not with the likes of Cummings and Gove either.
Just seen the latest report on this app on the bbc can't do clicky links, saying that the app will definitely be run by a central server and will log/track the location of 2 or more people being in proximity for a couple of minutes.
This is really feeling very 1984
I haven't considered all the ins and outs but I don't do anything I'd be worried about anyone knowing. On a data privacy/security perspective I can understand some people's hesitancy but honestly we can't have it both ways. Do you want to return to 'normal' as soon as possible and what are you willing to do for that.
If it's some philosophical view of the morality and ethics of it, I'd seriously be considering what digital footprint you already have.
Some people think Google only created Google Maps way in advance of driver-less cars so they'd already mapped out who was going where and the frequency.
Everything you post on social media, use of your phone, Alexa, online shopping etc. It's all available to lots of providers already and to the highest bidder. Cambridge Analytica anyone. COVID app doesn't seem that bad?
I have nothing to hide either and almost 0 digital footprint due to having had a stalker.
I don't trust our government or NHS to effectively protect my data(from personal experience) nor have they said how long they will keep it or what else they will do with it.
Also what use is the app without testing?
Personally it doesn’t bother me. The sooner we have it, the closer we are to getting out of this shit situation.
I agree robust testing needs to be in place else not much point.
Would also say you're in the vast vast minority re. digital footprint. Sorry to hear you had a stalker.
I wouldn’t touch it. They’ve handed the contract to people connected with Cambridge Analytica.
@Snowjive2 I don't know if that means they know everything already or not!
I was pretty enthusiastic about the app at first, but when I heard Cummings had connections with it, it’s put me off. Shame, as I think it could be a really useful tool, but I’d rather stay in lockdown than let Cummings have access to my data and movements.
I don’t feel it will have any impact on me if the governement knows where I’m going, I don’t understand why anyone would be concerned, what exactly are you concerned about? The more people who use the app, the better. Surely.
Just posted this on the other thread
“ Do you want to return to 'normal' as soon as possible and what are you willing to do for that. ”
This is what they’ll use as blackmail.
Ask yourself what you want the future to be for you and your children
Ask if this is a proportionate response given the % of deaths
Look over death figures of several previous years
I'm not trying to defend the COVID app one way or the other but don't go in for conspiracy theories, particularly when there is already so much personal data flying around.
How do you account for the vast differences in death rates between the UK and others vs South Korea for example who tested and traced systematically?
Also look at the real death rate in England when care homes are added in (about an extra 7000+ in total up until the 12th of April).
The Westminster government has completely ballsed this up and are fudging the numbers to hide it and we're supposed to trust them with this information
I don’t know what information you are so afraid of them having!
Please login first.