Apple and Google appear to be in a standoff with the UK’s National Health Service over the development of a COVID-19 contact tracing app. The Guardian reported that the firms’ desire to protect user privacy is as odds with proposals for the NHS’s app which aims to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Apple and Google are encouraging health services worldwide to build contact-tracing apps that operate in a decentralised way, allowing individuals to know when they’ve been in contact with an infected person but preventing governments from using that data to build a picture of population movements in aggregate. Their policies, unveiled last week, mean that if the NHS goes ahead with its original plans, its app would face severe limitations on how it operates. The app would not work if the phone’s screen is turned off or if an app other than the contact-tracing app is being used at the same time. It would require the screen to be active all the time, rapidly running down battery life, and would leave users’ personal data at risk if their phone was lost or stolen while the app was in use.
Check It Out: Apple And Google Clash With NHS Over COVID-19 App