TRACING: Instead of its centralized application being tested for more than a month, the British executive will opt for the decentralized technology developed by the American digital giants
The British government has decided to abandon the application for tracing contacts of patients with the new coronavirus developed by the public health service in favour of technology developed by Apple and Google, the BBC said on Thursday. Instead of its centralized application being tested for over 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 audiovisual group.
He said two NHSX project leaders, Matthew Gould and Geraint Lewis, have withdrawn in favour of Simon Thompson, a former Apple.
A system launched at the end of May
In the United Kingdom, where deconfinement is done according to a different schedule in the constituent nations, England launched at the end of May a system tracing recent contacts of patients by dedicated teams from the health service (NHS).
This system was to be supplemented by a mobile phone application, which was being tested on the Isle of Wight, whose deployment at national level had been announced initially for the month of May. Secretary of State for the Ministry of Health James Bethel said on Tuesday that NHS enforcement was “not a priority” and that he was not sure if it would be launched before Winter.
Amnesty International fears
Fueling the fears concerning the respect of private life, the United Kingdom had initially adopted like France a “centralized” approach: 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, like Germany, have chosen a “decentralized” option, also favoured by Google and Apple. In this architecture, our smartphones regularly import the list of all the pseudonyms having crossed contaminated people, and check themselves if our pseudonym is on these lists or not.
Human rights organization Amnesty International on Tuesday warned of the privacy risks posed by tracking apps developed by Bahrain, Kuwait and Norway.