Data Protection Advisor Jon Baines was quoted in Wired, discussing data security concerns around the NHS contact tracing app currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight. The app is designed to help track and slow the spread of COVID-19 and allows people to report cases through their phone.
Michael Veale, a lecturer in digital rights and regulation at University College London, argues in his analysis of the NHS app that it does not primarily preserve the anonymity of users. While the app doesn't collect information that would obviously reveal someone's identity, it is not 'anonymous', as claimed in the legal document that outlines how the app handles people's data.
Discussing his arguments, Jon Baines said; “Yes, some of the reidentification risks posed by Dr Veale appear plausible. In particular, Dr Veale’s analysis raises some specific concerns, some of which, particularly around the imprecise and potentially misleading use of the term ‘anonymous’, I feel it is incumbent on the secretary of state to address.”
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