In the absence of a working contact tracing app, the UK government has been forced to rely on manual data collection and human-powered tracing to identify potential cases of exposure to the Covid-19 virus. But, as Parliament’s cross-party Joint Committee on Human Rights claims in a new report, this is just as problematic as the …
As I understand it, in Scotland we use the NI sourced app rebadged with minor tweaks, - maybe not world-beating, but at least it is out there, being used and (maybe) helping a little bit. Is anyone holding their breath on England actually releasing one at all that does not involve a significant bung for favoured party donors and hangers-on?
It's actually an Irish app that NI adopted first.
I'm glad people are using it but I fear it will give a false sense of security. It only alerts you if everyone has their phone with the app and bluetooth on, and been close for 15 minutes. I rarely know where my phone is, and the couple of folk I've been close to for 15 minutes this year would tell me if they were sick.
I bought HEPA 85 air-filter material to build masks for prisoners, but the prisons ignored me as I used to do anarchist prisoner support. Masks are easy to buy now but I'm using it to put on air-blowers to turn them into air-filters.
A clever American pal told me she'd been told the best type of face mask material was cotton - worryingly wrong. I don't think people are paying proper attention.
The charity AgeUK said old folk would be devastated if Christmas was cancelled and their families couldn't visit them. My parents are delighted and relieved - they just aren't that into you!
"what data will be collected, how long it can be held, when it will be deleted"
Don't forget 'who else will it be shared with'. This government has a penchant for giving away our data to 'selected technology partners'. Fuck them if they think I'm collaborating in generating a contact or movement dataset for Google or Facebook to monetise.
I'm not sure any additional legislation would be needed. Just make sure that information is only used for the purposes for which it was collected, kept securely and for no longer than necessary for the original purpose.
All it needs is somebody in charge who understands this and has the ability and determination to ensure that it's adhered to.
1) Admit it is a complete failure.
2) Blame the sheer numbers for failure.
3) Organise a government inquiry into why and appoint Dido Harding's husband/dog/horse as chair.
4) Inquiry absolves Dido of all wrongdoing
5) Create new body for contact tracing
6) Appoint Dido as CEO
The appointment of Dido Harding as interim chair of the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) has been ruled unlawful by the High Court of England and Wales.
The infamous Queen of Carnage – a moniker she earned after presiding over TalkTalk during its catastrophic 2015 cyber-attack which cost around £42m and saw 157,000 users' financial details divulged – was appointed head of the public body in 2020. NIHP was the replacement for the disbanded Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, during the height of COVID-19 pandemic.
In a ruling handed down today [PDF], the High Court of England and Wales said the September 2020 appointment of Mike Coupe, former CEO of UK supermarket Sainsbury's, as director of testing at NHS Test and Trace (NHSTT), was also unlawful.
Attorneys for Google have called for a would-be class action lawsuit linked to its COVID-19 tracking software to be thrown out on grounds that any alleged data breaches are both "theoretical" and "hypothetical".
In 2020, Google and Apple developed a system for digital contact tracing using smartphones. At the time, both companies said that the Google-Apple Exposure Notification System (GAEN) was created because of a "shared sense of responsibility to help governments and our global community fight this pandemic through contact tracing."
Fast-forward to April 2021, and lawyers acting on behalf of lead plaintiffs Jonathan Diaz and Lewis Bornmann filed a complaint with the Northern District Court of California alleging that, despite assurances, GAEN exposes information that is "personally identifiable".
Police accessed COVID tracking QR check-in data to investigate a murder, causing the state of Western Australia (WA) to introduce urgent legislation in Parliament today.
The app collecting the data, SafeWA, is free, mandatory, and has been used over 245 million times for people to register their presence at relevant venues in WA. The description for the app says the data is encrypted and stored for 28 days. The description also makes the following two assertions:
The UK government has underscored its attention to detail on the issue of COVID-19 vaccine passports by publishing a report, half of which is made up of pages with no information.
Much to the derision of expert commentators on social media, the COVID-Status Certification Review details the government's approach to so-called vaccine passports and its response to concerns over their usage.
The 16-page report includes two title pages, a back page, four blank pages and a contents page. Its findings, which make up less than seven pages, conclude with a statement that the government will not mandate the use of COVID-status certification as a condition of entry for visitors to any setting at the present time.
Singapore has made its Bluetooth-powered "TraceTogether" contact-tracing app its preferred means of recording movements in public spaces across the island.
Singapore was one of the first countries to introduce a contact-tracing app, which it had up and running in mid-March 2020. The nation's effort, "TraceTogether" used Bluetooth to detect the proximity of other users, recorded such interactions and allowed contact with users in the event they had come into contact with a COVID-carrier. Singapore later added a dedicated TraceTogether token that did the same job, but for those who don't or would rather not use a smartphone.
In May 2020 Singapore added another system called SafeEntry that required businesses to checks visitors into and out of their premises using their smartphones and a QR code.
Australia will develop the capability to use payment records in the service of coronavirus contact tracing.
A National Contact Tracing Review released last Friday called for a raft of information technology responses to the pandemic, on grounds that containment of the novel coronavirus will be needed even after a vaccine emerges. The report notes that Australia has generally done very well managing the pandemic, but that some contact tracing efforts still rely on handwritten records and contact details are inconsistently recorded in public venues such as restaurants.
Complicating matters is that Australia’s eight State and Territory provide contact tracing services, with the Commonwealth government operating less hands-on services like the COVIDsafe national contact tracing app and directing the overall pandemic response.
Baroness Dido "Queen of Carnage" Harding, former TalkTalk CEO and current head of NHS Test and Trace, is reportedly eyeing the top job at NHS England.
According to The Times, the exec has expressed an interest to various leaders in the healthcare sector. If selected, she would replace Sir Simon Stevens, who has served as CEO of the NHS in England since 2014 and leaves in July.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour this morning, Harding acknowledged she was considering applying for the job, but said she had not made a formal application yet.
India has updated its Aarogya Setu contact-tracing app to record users’ COVID-19 vaccination status.
A government announcement issued on June 1st explains that fully-vaccinated users “will get a Blue Shield on the home page of Aarogya Setu App with double blue ticks on the Aarogya Setu Logo – 14 days after the second dose.”
“This would make easy check of Vaccination Status possible for travel and access to various premises,” the announcement says, without offering any information about whether India’s government is considering a formal scheme to allow travel or entry to premises based on vaccination status. Use of the app is currently required in some situations, such as commercial air transport.
The Singapore government has decided to use data gathered by its TraceTogether COVID-19-coronavirus contact-tracing app in criminal investigations.
The reuse of the info was revealed yesterday in Singapore's parliament, after Deputy Speaker Christopher De Souza was asked if the data will be used in crime probes and, if so, what legal provisions and safeguards are in place.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan replied by saying that Singapore’s Criminal Procedure Code means its Police can obtain any data for criminal investigations, including data gathered by TraceTogether.
Singapore has announced plans to improve cross-border data flows and increase digitalisation of local industry to combat the economic effects of COVID-19.
“Digitalisation and connectivity can fuel the next lap of global economic growth, " said Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, Tuesday at the Nikkei Forum Innovative Asia 2021.
According to a Singapore Trade and Industry Ministry report [PDF], the city-state’s economy shrank a record 5.4 percent last year but expects four to six percent growth in 2021.
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