Isle of Wight caller rejects NHS app data concerns

5 May 2020, 11:44

By Seán Hickey

This caller insisted that people who willingly give up their data to social media companies should not be concerned with downloading the NHS track and trace app.

Brits on the Isle of Wight will be the first in the UK to use the track and trace app, of which much skepticism has come forward with people showing concern for their personal data.

John from Sandown on the Isle of Wight called Tom Swarbrick to share the feeling of people on the Isle towards the roll out of the app. "Is terror spreading through the Isle of Wight" Tom jokingly asked. John told LBC that the public attitude is mostly positive.

"They're all keen to download the app" John said, fresh off speaking to people on Facebook about their feelings towards the app. He told Tom that people "think it's the way forward" in the coronavirus fight and islanders are raring to play their part.

An optimistic John said that he hopes the Isle of Wight reaches its target of 60 thousand by Thursday. Tom wanted to get an impression of the privacy concerns people on the Isle and so asked John his opinion of the use of data.

The NHS track and trace app goes out on trial in the Isle of Wight this week
The NHS track and trace app goes out on trial in the Isle of Wight this week. Picture: PA

John dismissed the idea of privacy being breached by the app and even went further to suggest that if your data is being collected, at least it is by the British government and not an outside source.

"With social media they already know where you are and what you're doing" he pointed out, adding "it's just another app but this time it'll be more helpful to the government."

Tom pushed again with John, semi jokingly asking if he will do whatever the government ask him to do with no questions asked. John told LBC that "you've got to do what you can, it's an unprecedented time." He also made the point that as much as he is happy to help with using the app, he believes it is not the only solution and methods such as antibody tests need to be investigated in conjunction with use of the app.

Tom agreed, stating that "the app alone won't sort this out, it should be done in combination with other things."

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