UK’s coronavirus contact-tracing app to be ready for ‘wider deployment’ in 2-3 weeks

Testing will need to be ramped up significantly and thousands of manual contact-tracers will need to be hired. NHSX’s Gould said a centralized system would allow the NHS to do “certain important things that you couldn’t do if it was just phone-to-phone propagation.” A group of more than 150 academics published an open letter to Gould on Wednesday warning that the NHS’s contact-tracing app could turn Britain into a “surveillance state.” “We urge that the health benefits of a digital solution be analysed in depth by specialists from all relevant academic disciplines, and sufficiently proven to be of value to justify the dangers involved,” the U.K. academics wrote. But Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at the University of Cambridge, told technology news website ZDNet: “A small amount of privacy exposure is entirely acceptable in the context of a pandemic.” The decentralized approach largely does away with mass surveillance concerns because it prevents governments from being able to see who is meeting who, at what time, and where.

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