Covid 19 Track And Trace App - A Few Questions ......

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Gizmonster | 15:35 Wed 30th Sep 2020 | Technology
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I'm just wondering how this app is going to force people to self isolate for 14 days.

Firstly, I'll assume that the phone in question is a contract phone, so the details of the owner of the phone are known. They get a message telling them to stay at home and self isolate. I'll assume that the phone's movements can be tracked, so the person just leaves their phone at home and leaves the house. Maybe someone will ring and check that they're at home, so the person switches the phone off and leaves the house. Maybe someone will actually come to the house and check ?? Does anyone know how the checks are made??

Secondly, what if it's a PAYG phone and the owner's details are not known?? Then what?? The owner of the phone switches it off and leaves it at home .... no one can call round, as they don't have an address. Even if you have to register your details with the app - what's stopping anyone from giving false details??

I know that most people will do as they're told .... but I'm wondering why does there appear to be a massive loophole that could easily be exploited by anyone not wishing to do as they're told??


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if they aren't going to make use of the app then why would they download it in the first place? Its not compulsory.
don't listen to's the bloke who was involved in the development. On FB he directly answers questions...go ask him.
On the NHS COVID-19 App: Last 24 hrs I’ve provided the polite version of the following to C4, ITV,BBC, Radio 5, Sky News, Times Radio, LBC. I thought I’d answer a few frequently asked questions more directly, while our communications officer isn’t watching. ** edit at bottom for solution to the minority of tests that didn't link to the app. Spoiler, they do now!**

Is it going to steal my data?
- No its completely private. All your data stays on the phone, if you delete the app, you delete the data. Facebook, on the other hand... (***more details below)

Is it going to track me?
- No it doesn’t know where you are. Uber, Dominos pizza, google maps, on the other hand...

Is Dominic Cummings...
- No

Why has it taken so long?
- It was hard. We tested it, made it better, tested it again, made it better, now it’s ready. And we helped Google develop their system. And we beat most states in America

How many people need to download it to work?
- Two. If you download it and I download it and I get infected and I notify you and you don’t visit your gran, Granny lives

What happens if we all download it?
- Maths shows it could stop the epidemic.

But Dominic Cummings...
- Just no

Why did the Isle of Wight app not work?
- Actually it did. It looks like it stopped their epidemic. There were problems with iPhones.

Are there not still problems with iPhones
- Yes. The few people with iphones earlier than 6S should write Apple and complain. If you have a later version you should download the app, stop the epidemic, and save the old folks with outdated smartphones.

What about the fines for not following the notifications? Those aren’t fair!
- What about the local outbreak and deaths you could cause by not following them? also what about the £500 you receive if you get notified and can’t work from home? (*DHSC now announced fines are “not enforceable” ...because it’s so private!)

Yeah but “False Positives”...
- The only way you can get a notification is by being close to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 for a prolonged period.

Yeah but its not 100% accurate at measuring distance so there are false positives
- Do you think the virus cares if it’s 2 meters or 2.3 meters?

Yeah but...
-If I asked you to remember all your 2meter 15minute contacts in the last 3 days would you give me an accurate answer? Where’s your tape measure and your stop watch?

So is it more accurate than manual contact tracing?
-Yes probably. And it can notify people you don’t know.

How else is it better?
- well it’s a lot more private - you don’t need to give personal details about you or anyone else

Anything else?
- it uses computers so it’s fast enough to find people BEFORE they infect others...which is sort of the point.

Anything else?
- it doesn’t require millions of netflix subscriptions.

Anything else?
- It’s a quick way to check in to bars (I like bars) and it’s a faster way to book a test without navigating a website designed by a Vogon

There are no tests?
- Fair point. Not my department. But will keep the pressure on.

Its not a silver bullet is it? It’s just a cherry on the cake?
- No. If we all download it, it’s A GOLD-PLATED MISSILE, which relatively speaking cost one-thousandth of a cherries worth of cake, compared to another lockdown.

Is it going to work?
- not unless you download it.....give it a go. It’s really rather good.

(And well done to our group at Oxford, Alan Turing Institute, department of health, NHSX, Google, Pivotal, Zuhlke, and beyond who’ve all’s been a long time coming...and it’s something to be proud of. Well done!)

**Edit from the App team: "Everyone who receives a positive test result can now log their result on the #NHSCOVID19app A minority of people,
Simple answer. The track and trace app was never intended to force anyone to isolate.
The app is not tracking you - allegedly.

As far as I know it plays no part in enforcement, just notification.
Personally as explained elsewhere I won’t be downloading it as I feel it’s not right for me
In all fairness I’d rather have an independent review.
The last place I’d go for a recommendation of any software is to the developer.
And I used to be one :-)
'I'm just wondering how this app is going to force people to self isolate for 14 days.' It won't.

'I'll assume that the phone's movements can be tracked' No they can't. It works via bluetooth (allegedly).
'I know that most people will do as they're told' You have more faith in the GP than me!
Question Author
//// if they aren't going to make use of the app then why would they download it in the first place? Its not compulsory. ////

In order to be allowed in to some places, you have to scan a QR code .... so yes it's not compulsory, but you may find as more and more places enforce this QR code scanning, you'll either have to toe the line, or you won't be allowed in.
Conversely, it's a person's prerogative to not give a premises, who insist on scanning a QR code, their business.
I'm not actually sure there is such a thing as compulsory QR code scanning actually.
as I understand it, companies can choose the conditions for allowing customers to use their facilities within the law and could still take a paper record of people's details if they (the company) wish. Its their choice, not a government requirement.
As far as I know you can do the QR code scans without the app.
They has certainly been the case up to now
Actually they are for the app only.
But I don’t think you are obliged to use them. No one could prove you were actually scanning in anyway.Premises have to display them. All they do anyway is store the details of the premises for a short time.
Today mr puzz scanned into the track and trace app at Wetherspoons and I was told I had to scan in too or I wouldn’t be allowed in
I think (think) that that’s to do with Wetherspoons taking your details for manual test and trace.
The NHS app works differently: you record the premises details and they get stored in the app on your phone.
Last Thursday I wrote this on the first thread that we had regarding this app.
"" I note that the app when activated and running has a "Venue check in" feature. This interests me. We were away in Criccaeth for the weekend a few days ago and everywhere we went to buy a drink of food or to use facilities required us to give personal details that varied from name and mobile no. to name and postcode or car reg. Now.... this new app logs you in anonymously at "venues" and does so without the faff of writing it down in a little bookie wookie for everyone to see. I like that already. Not only that what if venues countrywide make having this app a condition of entry....or the Government makes it a condition of entry?""

A few days later.

""Starting from 24 September, the businesses and organisations will have to display official NHS QR code posters under law ahead of next week’s national roll out of the NHS Covid-19 app.
As per the government, the official NHS QR code posters will enable people to easily check-in at various premises after the launch of the app. If individuals opt to check-in using the QR code poster they do not have to log in through any other route, said the government.

When a person enters a venue and scans an official NHS QR code poster, the information of the venue will be recorded on the phone of the user.
The device will check if the person has been at that spot at the relevant time and if the app finds a match, users will get an anonymous alert with advice on what to do based on the risk level.""

Tech note. Every place that displays the code has it's own unique QR code that is recorded on your phone only. All visitors to that code's area would be automatically notified if another phone user had logged the QR code and reported any illness or positive result. I am trying to ascertain whether there are any premises with the code that can identify your mobile phone details. It would need the code displayed on a pc or laptop or some such device I would think. A simple poster could not.
"In all fairness I’d rather have an independent review.
The last place I’d go for a recommendation of any software is to the developer.
And I used to be one :-)"

I used to be part of the tech to normal people interface in NHS software development. Which part of what he said do you disagree with/think is a lie?
I don’t think any of it is a lie.
I’m simply making the reasonable statement that independent reviews are worth more.
I’ve defended this app on this thread against the fears some have of it.
It’s just not for me
I don’t see that venues would make having this app a condition of entry?
Why would they do that?
They’d have to prove you actually had it installed. Anyone can wave a camera phone at a piece of cardboard :-)
Besides which anything likely to keep people away at the current time would not I’d have thought hold all that many attractions
I guess places like spoons would prefer it because its less work for them.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think what puzz was referring to was a venue taking your details should the NHS need to contact them.
The QR scanning for the app is for the benefit of the automatic system. Which you can have enabled or disabled. That allows it to track who’s been where

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