back to article UK Parliament's human rights committee pushes for better protections of coronavirus contact-tracing data in law

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 …

  1. Aladdin Sane

    World beating

    FML

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: World beating

      Well, to his credit, at least he didn't call it "unhackable"

      1. Aladdin Sane

        Re: World beating

        Too many syllables.

  2. BebopWeBop

    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?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      I think Google and Apple are working on Covid apps automatically generated from a relatively simple configuration file, in the hope that England will have one ready by the time the pandemic is over.

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      @BebopWeBop

      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!

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        I'm not a Trump fan but sometimes his policies just make sense and should be applauded.

        Designating New York, Portland and Seattle as anarchist cities is a bold and progressive move.  Hopefully he'll liberate more US cities before January.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "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.

  4. JohnMurray

    Fortunately, or not, my aged iPhone doesn't run iOS13+, so no app (I'll try to not cry)

  5. big_D Silver badge

    Contract Tracing app...

    Why does everybody call it contract tracing? It is contact alerting, not tracing.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    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. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unfortunately there is no-one fitting that description anywhere in the UK government.

  7. macjules Silver badge

    Next Steps

    <loop>

    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

    </loop>

    1. You aint sin me, roit

      Re: Next Steps

      You missed out:

      2a. But nobody could possibly have foreseen that!

      And

      6a. Give Dido a bonus to keep her quiet. There's a slight possibility that she's been paying enough attention to know where some of the skeletons are buried.

    2. Halfmad

      Re: Next Steps

      I'm convinced when he said "Bring me the Dido" he had a cold and they misheard.

      Next thing we know she's in charge of stuff.

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