The British government has decided to abandon the contact tracing application of patients with the new coronavirus developed by the public health service in favor of technology developed by Apple and Google, said Thursday the BBC. Instead of its centralized application in test for more than a month, supposed to play a key role in deconfinement, the executive will opt for the decentralized technology developed by the American giants, according to the British public media. He said that two NHSX project managers, Matthew Gould and Geraint Lewis, stepped back in favor of Simon Thompson, a former Apple employee.
In the United Kingdom, where deconfinement takes place according to a different schedule in the constituent nations, England launched at the end of May a system retracing the recent contacts of patients by dedicated teams of the health service (NHS). This system was to be supplemented by a mobile phone application, which was being tested on the English Isle of Wight, the deployment of which at national level was initially announced for the month of May. On Tuesday, a Secretary of State at the Department of Health, James Bethel, told MPs that the NHS application was “not a priorityAnd that he wasn’t sure it would be launched before winter.
A “decentralized” approach
Fueling fears regarding respect for privacy, the United Kingdom initially adopted a “centralized” approach like France: the smartphone will check on a central server that our pseudonym is not in the list of pseudonyms crossed by an infected person. Other countries, such as Germany, have chosen a “decentralized” option also favored by Google and Apple.
In this architecture, our smartphones regularly import the list of all the pseudonyms that have encountered infected people, and check themselves whether our pseudonym appears on these lists or not. On Tuesday, human rights organization Amnesty International warned of the privacy risks that tracking apps developed by Bahrain, Kuwait and Norway pose.