10
Thanks

A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated.

Guide to the NHS COVID-19 App

There has been a lot of discussion about the implementation of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) tracking apps in over 30 countries across the world. For example, in France there is the StopCovid app and in Italy there is the Immuni app. In the UK, the tracking app is called NHS COVID-19 and is produced by NHS England. This article serves as a guide to the UK based NHS COVID-19 app.



What is a Contract Tracing

Contact tracing refers to the tracing and monitoring of infected people and establishing those people that they potentially had contact with. The aim is to isolate anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms, and trace their previous contacts to quarantine them as well to limit further propagation of the virus.


How Does the App Work

A contact tracing app uses the Bluetooth technology within mobile devices to broadcast a unique identifier (for your device). The Bluetooth identifier does not contain any personal information and is updated on a regular basis. When your phone comes into close proximity with another mobile device (with the Bluetooth enabled), the phone will exchange identifiers.


If you were to develop symptoms the app would then recognise all of the devices that you came into close contact with and a message would be sent. If you do not have symptoms, the unique codes are only stored on your phone for 28 days and then removed.

Note: The app works in the foreground and requires a continuous Bluetooth connection which will limit battery life.

Is the App Safe

Privacy International (PI), a registered charity based in London who focuses on modern technology and rights has produced an in depth analysis of the NHS COVID-19 App and can be read in its entirety here.


Privacy International, a charity based in London which focuses on modern technology and rights has produced an in depth analysis of the NHS COVID-19 App and can be read in its entirety here.

According to Privacy International, they have found there is no way of opting-in or opting-out of third party trackers which are included in the app, raising questions about the apps

What Data Does it Collect

The app does not collect personally identifiable data from users. Users will remain anonymous. The app collects the unique Bluetooth identifiers of anyone else that you come into contact using the app.


How Long is My Data Stored

Your unique Bluetooth identifier is stored on devices that you have come into contact with for a period of 28 days.

You can delete the NHS COVID-19 App whenever you want to. The NHS complies with the Data Protection Act and explains fully how they intend to use your data here.

How to Download the App

The app can be downloaded for Android devices from the Google Play Store here, and for iOS devices from the Apple Store here.


Note: The app is incompatible with with older Android devices

How Much Does it Cost

Like the NHS, the app is free to use.

Further Information

For more information you can access the designated NHS COVID-19 app website.

If you want to read more about the Security behind the NHS contact tracing app, click here.

Privacy International (PI), a registered charity based in London who focuses on modern technology and rights has produced an in depth analysis of the NHS COVID-19 App and can be read in its entirety here.
Photo: Unsplash

10
Thanks

A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated.

Ask a question
CCM is a leading international tech website. Our content is written in collaboration with IT experts, under the direction of Jean-François Pillou, founder of CCM.net. CCM reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is available in 11 languages.
This document, titled « Guide to the NHS COVID-19 App », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).

0 Comments