England & Wales Tracing App to be released Sept 24th

Will You Download the App?

  • Yes - As Soon As Possible

    Votes: 51 23.7%
  • Maybe - Will see how roll out goes

    Votes: 43 20.0%
  • No - Privacy / Data Security

    Votes: 61 28.4%
  • No - Risk of Self Isolation

    Votes: 25 11.6%
  • No - Technology (No Smartphone / Incompatible / Battery)

    Votes: 25 11.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 10 4.7%

  • Total voters
    215

Smidster

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2014
Messages
235
At long last it was announced that the NHS app will be released soon following trials in parts of London and the Isle of Wight.

It will use Bluetooth to let you know if you have been in proximity to someone who has tested positive and there will be the ability for businesses like Pubs and Restaurants to use QR codes for people to check-in to.

The launch of the app in England & Wales follows the Scottish App that was released last week.

Clearly the effectiveness of any app is dependent on the number of people who download it so you get that critical mass of usage to make it worthwhile.

Do you plan on downloading the App or do you have concerns about the privacy / data implications?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

ainsworth74

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
16 Nov 2009
Messages
22,493
Location
Redcar
Well is this like the first attempt where they're basically just making off with your data to use for any shady purpose they consider reasonable for a couple of decades? Because if so it'll be another hard no from me just like it was with the first attempt.
 

farci

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2015
Messages
236
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Here is a BBC News article which addresses the question of confidentiality of data. About 11% of the Scottish population have downloaded it so far

Is it confidential?
Yes. The app uses anonymous codes or "keys". These will be exchanged between phones via Bluetooth but they contain no personal data.

They may include some information about Bluetooth signal strength, which the app uses to estimate proximity, but they cannot be used to identify you.

Using the app is entirely voluntary and you don't have to enter any personal details to download or install it.

The decentralised approach is designed to maximise privacy. If you're using the app, your phone collects lots of anonymised keys from nearby users but it stores these locally on your device, rather than uploading them.

Your phone will check them against the database to see if any of these keys were "infected" but it won't upload any information without your permission.

The app includes a leave function which can be used at any time to delete all app data from the phone.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-54098960
 

AM9

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2014
Messages
8,839
Location
St Albans
Well is this like the first attempt where they're basically just making off with your data to use for any shady purpose they consider reasonable for a couple of decades? Because if so it'll be another hard no from me just like it was with the first attempt.
According to @farci's description, none of your data will sent anywhere without your explicit permission. Would that mean that you will use it?
 

mmh

Established Member
Joined
13 Aug 2016
Messages
2,653
Other - No, but not for any of the listed reasons. I have no desire to take part in coronavirus theatre or encourage it.
 

lkpridgeon

Member
Joined
30 Jan 2019
Messages
53
Location
Micheldever Station / Saxilby
I've voted no due to privacy and security. At the moment it's very much a wait and see situation (it they release the code like they did for the previous app).

If there is indeed functionality to do track and trace, my concern would be the that this information will be stored against the device id/token. This could then be stored in a centralised database of which could still be exploited in the same ways the previous approach could albeit without as accurate location history. Whilst this functionality may be optional it could become the defecto standard and hence a means to force people to install the app.

Other than that, my main worry would be scope creep as all it takes is a few over the air updates to monitor stuff like nearby wifi networks & masrs to increase the accuracy of the location data. The users will be automatically updated and has been proven time and time again by social media sites it's easy to pass a quick change to the privacy policies and incrementally request new permissions then getting a person to agree to them upfront.
 

Huntergreed

Established Member
Joined
16 Jan 2016
Messages
1,754
Location
Coach J Seat 39
Is there a way for me to use the English app in Scotland to show the Scottish Government just what I think of their approach towards mandating masks for 5 year olds and only allowing me to meet one other household? :lol:
 

AdamWW

Established Member
Joined
6 Nov 2012
Messages
1,178
Other than that, my main worry would be scope creep as all it takes is a few over the air updates to monitor stuff like nearby wifi networks & masrs to increase the accuracy of the location data. The users will be automatically updated and has been proven time and time again by social media sites it's easy to pass a quick change to the privacy policies and incrementally request new permissions then getting a person to agree to them upfront.
I think that if the government were to try anything like that, it would become known very quickly, just as when the likes of Ebay or Google as seen as trying to sneak through some unwelcome change.

If there is indeed functionality to do track and trace, my concern would be the that this information will be stored against the device id/token. This could then be stored in a centralised database of which could still be exploited in the same ways the previous approach could albeit without as accurate location history. Whilst this functionality may be optional it could become the defecto standard and hence a means to force people to install the app.
I believe that the way it's done, there is no information uploaded centrally that could be used to track individuals.
 

takno

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
2,353
Is there a way for me to use the English app in Scotland to show the Scottish Government just what I think of their approach towards mandating masks for 5 year olds and only allowing me to meet one other household? :lol:
If they'd announced it with some indication of the restrictions they believed they would be able to remove, and timescales for assessing that, I would have downloaded the Scottish app immediately. Instead they announced it at the same time as further restrictions, with no suggestion that it might be instead of anything at all. If they can't be bothered to dangle a single solitary carrot to encourage downloads then I'm not going to bother frankly
 
Joined
7 Oct 2018
Messages
94
Location
Edinburgh
Is there a way for me to use the English app in Scotland to show the Scottish Government just what I think of their approach towards mandating masks for 5 year olds and only allowing me to meet one other household? :lol:
That's just being silly - if you want to complain about policy then write to your MSP expressing your concerns.

Downloading an app that doesn't work here is pointless and wouldn't send any message to ScotGov

If they'd announced it with some indication of the restrictions they believed they would be able to remove, and timescales for assessing that, I would have downloaded the Scottish app immediately. Instead they announced it at the same time as further restrictions, with no suggestion that it might be instead of anything at all. If they can't be bothered to dangle a single solitary carrot to encourage downloads then I'm not going to bother frankly
I don't think there was an intention for a direct link between the app being available and easing /removing restrictions. It's always been pushed as an additional tool to enhance Test and Protect, the theory being it can communicate possible exposure to a lot of people quickly (once a positive test has been confirmed) and can catch close contacts that you may not have been aware of or may have forgotten about.

I think the carrot being dangled is a better Test and Protect system and from that less spread of the virus - sitting at nearly 900,000 downloads now.
 
Last edited:

lkpridgeon

Member
Joined
30 Jan 2019
Messages
53
Location
Micheldever Station / Saxilby
I think that if the government were to try anything like that, it would become known very quickly, just as when the likes of Ebay or Google as seen as trying to sneak through some unwelcome change.
Quite frankly I don't trust the government not to do it 'for the greater good' further on down the line. And as observed with those companies once the app is installed people won't go out of their way to remove it. The controversy blows over.

I believe that the way it's done, there is no information uploaded centrally that could be used to track individuals.
The way of checking to see if any person you've come into contact with whilst using the app is indeed decentralised. However the ability to scan a qr code and submit track and trace details will presumably also send the device token (with the location being derived by the code). This would then get stored on a centralised system to allow for manual track and trace to work.
 

AdamWW

Established Member
Joined
6 Nov 2012
Messages
1,178
Quite frankly I don't trust the government not to do it 'for the greater good' further on down the line. And as observed with those companies once the app is installed people won't go out of their way to remove it. The controversy blows over.
I think it unlikely that any change to a centralised system (aside from the fact that I think Google and Apple have made that very difficult to do) would happen without any media attention.

I'm not sure why a view that other people won't uninstall if the way it's used changes should prevent you from downloading it. Do you not trust yourself to uninstall it?

The way of checking to see if any person you've come into contact with whilst using the app is indeed decentralised. However the ability to scan a qr code and submit track and trace details will presumably also send the device token (with the location being derived by the code). This would then get stored on a centralised system to allow for manual track and trace to work.
I'm not sure how much worse that is than manually giving your details.

Or is the problem that it wouldn't let you give false information?
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
58,533
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
I'm not sure how much worse that is than manually giving your details.
I'm happier with the app than I am with random businesses who aren't in the business of data protection having them, to be honest, e.g. on an open list of numbers. If nothing else it's one tap and photograph, not faffing about with an inevitably poorly designed website.
 

takno

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
2,353
I don't think there was an intention for a direct link between the app being available and easing /removing restrictions. It's always been pushed as an additional tool to enhance Test and Protect, the theory being it can communicate possible exposure to a lot of people quickly (once a positive test has been confirmed) and can catch close contacts that you may not have been aware of or may have forgotten about.

I think the carrot being dangled is a better Test and Protect system and from that less spread of the virus - sitting at nearly 900,000 downloads now.
Yes, but I'm not particularly concerned about the rate of spread of the virus. I am concerned about the rate of spread of restrictions, and more importantly the lack of any inclination to get rid of any of the restrictions once they've been imposed. Downloading the app significantly increases the risk of me being asked to self-isolate, so really it's not a cost-free decision.

I daresay they'll make it mandatory in a couple of weeks anyway.
 

NorthOxonian

Member
Joined
5 Jul 2018
Messages
652
Location
Oxford/Newcastle
Yes, but I'm not particularly concerned about the rate of spread of the virus. I am concerned about the rate of spread of restrictions, and more importantly the lack of any inclination to get rid of any of the restrictions once they've been imposed. Downloading the app significantly increases the risk of me being asked to self-isolate, so really it's not a cost-free decision.

I daresay they'll make it mandatory in a couple of weeks anyway.
But if enough people use the app, the rates of transmission should come down, and so the risk of self-isolation should also come down. I don't want to spend two weeks under house arrest for going to the wrong pub either, but at the moment rates are quite high, and I'd rather we had a tracing system like that than all businesses being shut and livelihoods ruined (which is the other route the government could plausibly take - we'd both like restrictions to be eased significantly but that isn't going to happen).
 

lkpridgeon

Member
Joined
30 Jan 2019
Messages
53
Location
Micheldever Station / Saxilby
I'm not sure why a view that other people won't uninstall if the way it's used changes should prevent you from downloading it. Do you not trust yourself to uninstall it?
Unfortunately the vast majority of people are lazy and after years in software support and development I've seen many people threat to do so but not many actually do it when policies like this are changed hence why we have tracking scripts galore in near off every mobile app and website. Personally I would uninstall it.

I'm not sure how much worse that is than manually giving your details.
My issue is the data would be stored centrally and instantly accessible to anyone whom has the will power to try and get access legitimately or not. Whilst the current paper way isn't perfect, the government actually have to put some effort into collecting it when needed.
 

ainsworth74

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
16 Nov 2009
Messages
22,493
Location
Redcar
According to @farci's description, none of your data will sent anywhere without your explicit permission. Would that mean that you will use it?
That appears to refer to the Scottish app, is the English version going to be the same? If so then I most likely will get it. Though my usual approach to tech of giving it a little while after launch to see if there are any show stopping bugs will likely still apply ;)
 

43066

Established Member
Joined
24 Nov 2019
Messages
1,784
Location
London
I will not be downloading it.

Partly because I have no desire to give personal information out unnecessarily (the same reason why I also give false contact details to establishments which request them). I have no faith that this information will be stored properly, or that it won’t be used for nefarious purposes.

Partly because I don’t want the inconvenience of having to self isolate just because I’ve walked down the same street as someone who later tests positive.

Mostly because I’m of the view they restricting transmission of this virus amongst the healthy population is a pointless exercise. The obsession with reducing cases at all costs is currently destroying our economy, and ruining peoples’ livelihoods and lives. This app is yet another futile hobby horse of this ridiculous government and I do not wish to be any part of it.

I have no desire to take part in coronavirus theatre or encourage it.
My thoughts exactly.
 

AdamWW

Established Member
Joined
6 Nov 2012
Messages
1,178
Partly because I don’t want the inconvenience of having to self isolate just because I’ve walked down the same street as someone who later tests positive.
Or, you know, maybe it will be set only to issue alerts for somewhat longer contact than just passing by someone in the street?
 

Smidster

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2014
Messages
235
Have you got as link to this announcement?
Gov.UK Announcement

  • The NHS COVID-19 app is currently being trialled and will launch on Thursday 24 September in England and Wales, including QR check-in at venues
  • QR codes will be an important way for NHS Test and Trace in England and NHS Test, Trace, Protect in Wales to contact multiple people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues
Businesses across England and Wales like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas are being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

The move comes ahead of a national launch of the NHS COVID-19 app across England and Wales on Thursday 24 September.

The government will be supporting businesses and venues to display the QR codes, which can be downloaded via a website to display as posters in premises.

Following the launch of the new COVID-19 app, customers and visitors in England will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.
 

43066

Established Member
Joined
24 Nov 2019
Messages
1,784
Location
London
Because if the government announces the criteria you assume they will be lying?
Absolutely. I don’t trust a single thing this government says or does, and I don’t want to be a part of this charade any more.
 
Last edited:

py_megapixel

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2018
Messages
2,262
I'm getting rather tired of this.

The same people that moan and groan over the restrictions (and yes, some of them are stupid, but the vast majority of them are little more than slight inconveniences) will also refuse to do anything that might allow them to be lifted! I cannot understand why people understand they should just have the right to do nothing, and carry on life as normal, during a global pandemic, and the government will just sort everything out (not that they can be trusted to) without the people of the country doing anything at all.

For those of you worried about data protection - well you'll just have to stay at home anyway then, because you will have to give your details to anywhere other than a shop that you might go (and even some of those are starting to request it these days). And I probably trust the NHS's data protection more than some random restaurant company.
 

DelayRepay

Established Member
Joined
21 May 2011
Messages
1,176
I did not vote for this government, I do not really trust them and the sooner we see the back of them, the better.

But, subject to a few more details being released, I will download the app and use it. I already give my real details for Track and Trace, and to date have not been Tracked or Traced. But if I do potentially have asymptomatic Covid, I would like to know about it so I can stay at home. Yes it is a pain but it will stop me infecting people who might be vulnerable. I personally have no fear of catching Covid, but I would rather not infect the 87 year old lady down the road when I am helping her with shopping.

It's also worth remembering that most of the time you are traceable anyway, through credit/debit card records, CCTV and ANPR records, mobile phone records. If the government really had a desire to track my whereabouts, they would not need me to download an app to help them!
 

43066

Established Member
Joined
24 Nov 2019
Messages
1,784
Location
London
I'm getting rather tired of this.
I’m tired of the economy being trashed to appease Facebook Karens and paranoid maskivists who cannot understand risk. Soon enough many of these people will lose their jobs, and will no doubt change their tune, but by then it will be too late.

The same people that moan and groan over the restrictions (and yes, some of them are stupid, but the vast majority of them are little more than slight inconveniences) will also refuse to do anything that might allow them to be lifted!
You certainly don’t speak for everyone by describing these measures as “slight inconveniences”. Track and trace is a complete farce and will be as ineffective as everything else intended to combat this virus. The best thing to do would be to lift the restrictions for the majority of us and get back to normality as quickly as possible. That will mean more deaths but we will be getting deaths whatever we do.


For those of you worried about data protection - well you'll just have to stay at home anyway then, because you will have to give your details to anywhere other than a shop that you might go. And I probably trust the NHS's data protection more than a restaurant company.
You stay at home if you want to. I will continue to go out.

How will these venues know whether you’ve “checked in” anyway? What’s to stop you just pointing your phone at the QR code?
 

Top