The UK runs afoul of Apple and Google’s privacy rules

From The Telegraph’s “Apple and Google block NHS contact-tracing app update over privacy concerns” posted Monday:

A crucial update to the NHS contact-tracing app has been blocked by Apple and Google after the government broke the terms of agreement it made with the tech giants.

The update, due to have been rolled out on Monday to coincide with the re-opening of the economy, would have allowed users who tested positive for Covid-19 to upload a log of all the times they had scanned a QR code when entering venues.

This QR code could then be used to anonymously warn others if they had visited the same venue at the same time.

But such a feature has been banned by Apple and Google, which provide the software that runs the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales.

When it launched, the government had to sign up to an agreement that said the app would “not share location data from the user’s device with the public health authority, Apple or Google”.

The app still works, but the latest features, which were touted by the Government last week, are not yet available, the BBC reported.

My take: Frustrating. But in the current climate — when Bill Gates is a QAnon meme — nobody needs another excuse not to get vaccinated.

6 Comments

  1. Chris Ferebee said:
    The fact that the UK government remains too stupid to understand it needs to follow these privacy rules, is exactly why the rules exist in the first place.

    5
    April 12, 2021
  2. David Emery said:
    A very different perspective: http://www.fosspatents.com/2021/04/apple-and-google-abuse-their-app-store.html Seems to me, though, that the Apple/Google position is closer to “any hole is a hole for everyone” position akin to cryptographic back doors.

    But if UK Health Service agreed to the rules, they’re obligated to follow them. (In the US at least, it would be my understanding of federal contracting laws that would be a formal legal obligation.)

    2
    April 12, 2021

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