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Check your mobile phone for a Track and Trace API

Posted on 3rd June, 2020

 

UPDATE 12 JUN 20 Trace and Trace isolates 27K in its First Week of Operation

 

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Have you checked your settings?

 

It seems that 'test, track and trace' plans to 'control the virus' may have the potential to repeatedly take away our social contact and freedom of movement without warning or discussion.

 

As with every disease, COVID-19 and its secondary effects, can have devastating effects for all those involved, as we hear in the media every day. Different countries have reacted differently, some are in full lockdown some are not, some 'track and trace' and some do not. As this pandemic has not been openly discussed, mainly due to the parliamentary systems being in lockdown, how infectious and deadly is COVID-19? 

 

As you read this blog please consider that a week before lockdown the UK government stated, "As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK". This statement was repeated in a Public Health England May 2020 Report, is this still the case? Also consider that we are now supposedly coming out of lockdown.

"Italy on Monday launched its COVID-19 contact tracing app based on the Apple-Google Exposure Notification API... [The] Immuni [app] ... was developed by the Italian Ministry of Health and Ministry for Innovation Technology and Digitalization ... Italy's Ministry of Health said that the app "does not (and cannot) collect any data that would identify the user," and does not use GPS or geolocation information ... [but obviously some data is collected that identifies users of the app so that 'officials' can identify you and tell you to stay at home]

 

... the app ... uses ... signals to track other people whom a person has come into contact with. If that person tests positive for COVID-19, those recent contacts will be alerted and told to self-isolate and get tested."

 

"Other countries in Europe, such as France and the U.K., have decided to forego the Apple-Google framework in favor of their own solutions. Those apps will likely face issues with Bluetooth integration, however."

So, how will this type of 'test, track and trace' approach potentially work in the UK? So many questions to consider, for example:

  • Will I receive a phone call from 'an official', saying that I've been in recent contact with an anonymous COVID19 infected person, and must immediately self-isolate, under house arrest again?
  • If I'm on my way to the holiday of a lifetime, a wedding or honeymoon, my grandchild's birth, a long awaited operation or a loved one's funeral, what am I supposed to do? Go straight home and stay there for two weeks?
  • What happens to all the people I've been in contact with? How about the people I live with in close contact, and hug, in an enclosed space called home? Does my partner also have to isolate from work? My children and their friends and family from school?
  • Will there be any way to discuss this situation, one that could possibly irrevocably change the next few weeks of my life?
  • Who will I get a test from? What type of test, swab or blood? How accurate is the test? How frequently will people need to be retested, especially if people in a work environment or household become infected at different times?
  • What happens if I don't comply with the 'instruction' to self-isolate?
  • The COVID19 law is contrary and complicated. Remember, until a few days ago it was a criminal offence, punishable by fines, to be in a gathering of more than two people. Now it is illegal to be in a gathering of more than 6 or 2 people depending on where you are what you are doing.
  • Is 'test, track and trace' voluntary or mandatory? Will this status change over time without proper public debate?
  • What if the technology doesn't work as expected? Would there be any financial or ultimately criminal consequences?
  • How, where and by whom will any contact 'data' be held?
  • Where are the democratic public and parliamentary discussions and debates on these issues?

Have you looked at your phone settings recently? You may be surprised. You may already have the 'COVID-19 exposure notification' active on your phone, ready for a new COVID-19 app for you to voluntarily download. To check an Android device,

  • Go to settings Select 'Google'
  • Select the 3 dots
  • Select 'Usage and diagnostic'
  • Slide to 'Off', if you don't want this to be active on your phone

You may want to ask your MPDistrict Councillor or Parish Councillor the answers to above questions before deciding whether you want to voluntarily implement any future 'test, track and trace' app.

 

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See BOB's COVID19 Information 

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