Here’s why the NHS contact tracing app is doomed to fail

When Apple and Google announced that they were working together on a contact tracing API, many thought that this would mean that notifying users of a potential contact with someone with COVID-19 would be easier.

By using the API android and iPhones would send a random string of numbers to other devices if they were in a close proximity long enough, then if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 they could confirm in the app and this would then users who had been close to you within a set time frame would be notified that at some point they had been  at risk and to self isolate as a precaution. Using this API users details and location would not be used and the random string of numbers and digits would be kept secure by Apple and Google.

Unfortunately the process hasn’t been as smooth with some countries declining to use the api, thankfully Germany changed their mind and decided to use the API. Unfortunately for the U.K. the NHS has decided to do the app on their own so they could store the data themselves. The U.K. would outsource this task to a company meaning more users data is stored and at risk.

Even worse than since earlier versions of Android and iOS 8 and the app needs to stay open and running all the time then the app will not work. By default both iOS and Android only allow apps to run in the background for a short period of time before they stop working. By not using the API’s if a user of the NHS app is diagnosed with COVID-19 the users are asked to upload their contacts to the server controlled by the Government, the users device details are also logged meaning it is not anonymous and even if a user requests their data will not be deleted and in fact breaks U.K. Law.