Why did the government ignore Apple and Google?

The government argues this will provide greater insight into the spread of COVID-19 and allow the NHS to decide which users are most at risk. Privacy advocates, though, warn it creates new avenues for state surveillance. Already, the UK government appears to have undermined prior assurances that it won’t share the data it collects outside the NHS, suggesting other organizations might use the information for public health research in the future. This is something Apple and Google forbid for any app using their API, and another reason the UK has to build its app without the companies’ help… More here.

On Monday, the UK government explained in depth and in clearly written language how its iOS and Android smartphone application – undergoing trials in the Isle of Wight – will work, and why it is a better solution to the one by Apple and Google that other nations have decided to adopt. It has also released a more technical explanation.

Unfortunately for folks in UK, while the explanation is coherent, calm, well-reasoned and plausible, it is likely to be a repeat of the disastrous “herd immunity” approach the government initially backed as a way to explain why it didn’t need to go into a national lockdown. That policy was also well-reasoned and well-explained by a small number of very competent doctors and scientists who just happened to be wrong… More here.

I purposely said the government in the title rather than the NHS because it seems clear that there is an obsessive need for control and data from this government which, yet again, could cost thousands more lives.

The again, there may be more to this which does not shine the best light on Apple in particular. Read this Twitter thread for more.

Chowdhury seemingly spoke on behalf of a growing chorus of health experts, MPs and members of the public who think Britain’s response to the crisis has suffered from a series of deadly mistakes and miscalculations.

The charges focus on four areas: that healthcare workers struggled to access personal protective equipment, that Britain was too slow to implement a lockdown, that it bungled testing, and that vulnerable care home residents were not properly protected… More here.

It’s enlightening when you see a view from another country regarding how well, or badly, the UK has handled this crisis. It should be clear to most that this is a major shit show that is killing people every day.

The grandmother, also called Ayse, spoke through sobs. “Why? Why?” she repeated. Why couldn’t she visit the hospital to say her goodbyes? Why did so many die in her daughter’s workplace? At least 25 residents since the start of March, of whom at least 17 were linked to the coronavirus. It was one of the highest death tolls disclosed so far in a care home in England. And why did Kaygan and her colleagues resort to buying face masks on Amazon a month ago, protection that arrived only after she was in hospital? More here.

This is a heartbreaking story.

Categories: Apps, Politics

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