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Professor Muttukrishnan Rajarajan says revamped UK COVID-19 contact tracing app shows importance of working with tech giants

City’s Director of the Institute for Cyber Security says Apple and Google can assist the UK Government to address the challenges around collecting personal data.
by John Stevenson (Senior Communications Officer)

287102Professor Muttukrishnan Rajarajan says working alongside Apple and Google on developing a revamped COVID-19 track and trace app will assist the UK Government in facilitating the collection of data.

Last month, the Government was forced to abandon a centralised coronavirus contact tracing app developed by the NHS after the technology only recognised 4 percent of Apple phones and 75 percent of Google Android phones during testing on the Isle of Wight.

Trust and reach

An alternative design will be developed by Apple and Google.

Professor Rajarajan said the issue of trust and reach in collecting personal data is crucial and that users have more confidence in an app developed by the tech giants.

He also thinks the Government may be under-resourced.

The NHS has realised the privacy challenges in the centralised model they proposed. The Government also values working with Apple and Google to push these apps to the UK populace given the high trust factor of these technology leaders among smartphone users. No one trusts the government to roll out a technology to collect personal data, and to get this app working reasonably well, the government realises that it does not have the expertise and resources.

Germany and Italy have developed the Corona-Warn and the Immuni apps respectively, for contact tracing.

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