COVID-19 privacy news (w/e 22nd May)

22/05/2020 | COVID-19 Round-up

Here are the latest stories on how the COVID-19 outbreak has affected privacy:

14th May:

  • Digital Health reports on a LawArXiv paper analysing the NHS contact-tracing app DPIA and concludes that it falls short of data protection law

15th May:

  • The Guardian report that ten million people are at risk of being locked out of Covid-19 contact tracing app.
  • The Register reports how wearing masks in public interferes with Met Police facial recognition tech. 
  • The Guardian reveals that the GMB union is warning care workers not to use UK government Covid-19 app.
  • The Conversation survey reveals 58% of the public are concerned about privacy when using a coronavirus contact-tracing app.
  • The Guardian reveals the NHS is preparing to roll out its contact-tracing app by the end of May.

18th May:

  • Amnesty International release statement demanding that privacy are questions addressed before NHSX contact-tracing app roll-out. 
  • An Open letter from digital rights groups to the UK health secretary Matt Hancock questions the role of technology providers in NHS plans to build a COVID-19 datastore.

19th May:

  • IAPP article - Illusions of consent and COVID-19-tracking apps. 

20th May:

  • Infosecurity Magazine lists the NHS contact-tracing apps security issues.
  • Meanwhile, EandT outline a mixture of failed privacy protections that are insufficient for users of the NHS app.
  • Reuters reports Apple-Google to launch their contact tracing tech in 23 countries, others to wait and see.
  • Google and Apple also announced the launch of privacy-friendly technology that is designed to inform individuals if they've been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • The Guardian reveals that Serco has accidentally shared the email addresses of almost 300 contact tracers.
  • The Register reports that the MoD is to anonymise COVID-19 contact-tracing app data through its behavioural science division.
  • In a 2nd Open letter to the government in a week, campaign groups have warned that GCHQ can re-identify UK's phone users from COVID-19 contact-tracing app data.
  • The Guardian reveals that UK contact-tracing plans in doubt as app will not ready until June.
  • Reuters reports that the UK government continues to discuss contact-tracing technology with Apple and Google.

21st May:

  • The Guardian reports on the track and trace lessons that the UK can learn from countries that got it right.
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