Minister says tracking and tracing should come before the NHSX App

In an answer to my question about tracking, tracing and support, the Minister said:

“… it is probably a mistake to launch an app before you have got the public used to the idea of tracing. As I mentioned in an earlier answer, that is something we have taken on board. When it comes to launching the test and tracing programme, we will begin with the tracing, not with the app.”

The government is already late in launching a localised system of tracking, tracing and support where they use health professionals to do the leg work of following up the contacts within a local community. This has the added advantage over an App of organising support for those who have to isolate at home if they have the virus.  Tracking, tracing and support teams could start by focusing on care homes and schools.

In addition, I’m opposed to the idea of adding facial recognition to the NHSX app, as this takes the invasion of privacy to a new level. We should avoid adding any biometric data to this App as the security of the technology is not guaranteed.  As well as enabling people to track and trace, the App is collecting data for the government to monitor the spread of the disease. The App is trying to serve two purposes and one undermines the privacy goals of the other.