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Concerns about track and trace app. *title edited by MNHQ at OP's request*

(157 Posts)
TooTrueToBeGood Tue 05-May-20 08:04:31

I've just watched Matt Hancock on BBC breakfast and much of the interview was about the soon-to-be-released contact tracing app.

According to MH, all data about who you have been in contact with will be entirely stored on your phone, no data will be sent to some central NHS/Govt database. He stressed several times that no data would be sent to a central system.

Here's how he describes the system working, as I understood him. When an individual finds out they have symptoms, they tell the app on their phone that they are symptomatic. The app then alerts the NHS and the user is sent a test kit. The app also alerts everyone the user has been in contact with that they may have been infected and they too are sent a test kit.

How is this really going to work in practice? Obviously from a privacy point of view people should be reassured that their location and social contact data is not being sent to the govt (though many will not believe that) . However, we are relying on individuals acting timeously when they are advised they may be infected, rather than direct NHS/govt intervention to isolate them. How many people will dilly-dally and go about their business infecting others for a few days until they get the test results?

More importantly, how many people, especially those who are anxious about infection, will figure out that if they dishonestly tell the app they have symptoms, then they and all their friends and family will get sent a test kit? That will just cause mayhem.

did anyone else who saw the interview interpret what he was telling us differently?

OP’s posts: |
PineappleDanish Tue 05-May-20 08:06:06

So you don't understand how the tech works either but default to a "the government is definitely lying" position?

TooTrueToBeGood Tue 05-May-20 08:07:12

Apologies for the thread title. I was also dubious as to how exactly the app was going to alert others if no information is held centrally. However, on reflection, I assume it will use SMS or some other mobile network tech to alert anyone the infected user has had contact with.

OP’s posts: |
GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Tue 05-May-20 08:09:17

Yes I imagine most people interpreted it differently.

There are plenty of apps that work by scrambling and encrypting data.

Mumdiva99 Tue 05-May-20 08:09:35

Lol. Not seen the article....just heard a clip on the radio asking us all to download the app.

Google already know when I so much as pee, just got a new phone so now that company's in on the surveilance act. Now to allow the government to Big Brother me....

Seriously though how does the app know who you interact with? Is it to do with who you text/call etc or is it about proximity to people? Will a lady in the supermarket get a testing kit if she serves.me one day and I get I'll another da

BlueBrian Tue 05-May-20 08:09:59

Wouldn't worry about it, the Isle of Wight trial will be a dismal failure, and the whole plan will be quietly binned, never to be heard of again

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Tue 05-May-20 08:10:03

It uses Bluetooth. He did explain that. Maybe you just picked and chose the info you wanted to hear.

TooTrueToBeGood Tue 05-May-20 08:13:14

It uses Bluetooth. He did explain that. Maybe you just picked and chose the info you wanted to hear.

Bluetooth only has a very limited range, either 10m or 100m depending on the class. Fine for identifying contacts but no use whatsoever for alerting them. E.g. bluetooth can be used to identify that I sat beside you on the tube. It can't alert you that I have told the app I am symptomatic unless we happen to come into very close contact again.

OP’s posts: |
Mumdiva99 Tue 05-May-20 08:14:01

So you would need blue tooth switched on all the time? Doesn't that drain the battery...I only switch mine on to sync. my fitbit.

oralengineer Tue 05-May-20 08:14:04

I would imagine all apps on your phone extract the same or more data than the government app ( Facebook being a prime example). The government have been using anonymous GPS data from our phones via providers since before lockdown, it was part of the emergency legislation and we were informed.
Big brother has been watching everyone’s movements throughout which is where they have extracted the travel data. I would imagine it has also been used by the police to detect large gatherings.

Ilets Tue 05-May-20 08:15:31

Does that mean bluetooth has to be enabled all the time? How does that work for security and battery? Or does bluetooth work when not enabled?

TheGoatIsHere Tue 05-May-20 08:20:00

When you tell the app you have symptoms, the app will send data of your close contacts to the central database. It can then send a message via the app to those users.

So user A has symptoms, you alert the app, the app tells the database that you have been in contact with B, C and D. Users B, C and D then get a message sent to them

Tableclothing Tue 05-May-20 08:23:07

How many people will dilly-dally and go about their business infecting others for a few days until they get the test results?

We've already seen huge numbers of people voluntarily self- isolating.

More importantly, how many people, especially those who are anxious about infection, will figure out that if they dishonestly tell the app they have symptoms, then they and all their friends and family will get sent a test kit?

I think relatively few people are so selfish, and I think all their friends and family would only get a test kit if they tested positive.

Fine for identifying contacts but no use whatsoever for alerting them.

I think the app does the alerting bit.

Does that mean bluetooth has to be enabled all the time?

When you're coming into contact with people not in your household, yes.

Bluetooth only has a very limited range

So does the virus.

TheGoatIsHere Tue 05-May-20 08:25:26

Bluetooth, and in particular Bluetooth Low Energy (v4.0), uses very little power.

Aria20 Tue 05-May-20 08:25:47

What about say teenagers at secondary school when they go back if they have the app on and input symptoms presumably everyone in the building would then be alerted so that's hundreds of people? Same for travelling on tube?

EggysMom Tue 05-May-20 08:27:14

Does that mean bluetooth has to be enabled all the time? How does that work for security

That is the question that I keep asking and that nobody can answer (I even tweeted BBC Breakfast to try and get it asked). My bluetooth is switched on all the time as it syncs to my smartwatch; but it is paired to that watch, and not 'discoverable' by other devices. Will phones need to be in 'discover' (pairing) mode for this to work and, if so, doesn't that have security implications as it leaves your phone open to anyone to bluetooth something across.

TheGoatIsHere Tue 05-May-20 08:28:24

According to my phones battery usage over the last 24 hours, Bluetooth accounts for less than 0.1%. I have it enabled constantly as it is connected to my smartwatch and often a smart speaker

milveycrohn Tue 05-May-20 08:29:08

I think you will find that plenty of other countries are using similar technology.
New Zealand have introduced one. Germany, I read, are going with Google's own version.

Humphriescushion Tue 05-May-20 08:29:33

If you alert it that you have symptoms what happens then? Do you get sent a test? So do they need your address?
If you are positive and have to go into quarantine are you tracked to make sure?

MsLumley Tue 05-May-20 08:31:08

Lying?? Do you have any evidence at all to support that or are you just being deliberately inflammatory?

JudyCoolibar Tue 05-May-20 08:31:48

Hancock really needs to explain why they've opted for a centralised app when they don't need to.
www.matrixlaw.co.uk/news/legal-advice-on-smartphone-contact-tracing-published/

Chemenger Tue 05-May-20 08:35:58

How did you come up with your title, which has nothing to do with your actual post? Click bait. If you don’t understand how the app works why not have a tile that says that rather than flinging accusations into the air?

GatoFofo Tue 05-May-20 08:36:55

Are people expected to self isolate for 7 days when the app ‘alerts’ them that they’ve been in contact with a suspected infected person, or only if the contact tests positive?
Are employers going to accept people ring in ti say they can’t come to work for a week because an app told them not to? Possibly multiple times? This will be a business continuity nightmare, especially when abuse of the system by idiots is factored in.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Tue 05-May-20 08:37:22

Isn't this the point of the trial though? To see if it will work?

TheGoatIsHere Tue 05-May-20 08:38:58

@EggysMom - your phone won't need to be discovered or paired. The app will likely use a form of Bluetooth Low Energy Beaconing. Basically, at intervals your phone will broadcast a small "beacon" - other users apps will detect this and log a contact if various thresholds are met (distance, duration of contact, etc)

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