Government decisions make NHSX coronavirus app less likely to succeed: James O'Brien

5 May 2020, 12:25

By Adrian Sherling

The NHSX coronavirus tracing app needs 60% of the population to download it to work properly. So why have the government made decisions which makes that less likely, asks James O'Brien.

The government's app for testing, tracking and tracing people who have coronavirus has been built so that data is stored centrally, as opposed to just sent between individual phones.

This has led to privacy concerns that the government could have access to personal data from your phone.

James received a text from a listener which said: "If you think I'm sending anything to Johnson and Cummings, you can think again."

James said he understands that sentiment, but will still be downloading it on the first day it is available.

His main point - if the success of this app depends on the number of people who download it, then why have they made a decision which will put people off downloading it?

READ MORE: How does the NHSX coronavirus tracing app work?

James O'Brien made this fascinating point about the new NHSX coronavirus app
James O'Brien made this fascinating point about the new NHSX coronavirus app. Picture: LBC / PA

He said: "The British government has elected to use technology which sees all of the information potentially fed in a centralised location. Why

"Then you add this extra dimension - if it is engendering mistrust, which I think it's fair to say it is, then it is actually less effective.

"For every single person who thinks 'I don't want them collecting my data therefore I'm not going to download it', actively reduces the likelihood of the whole scheme succeeding."

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