Matt Hancock has tried to sneak in an update to the NHS Test and Trace app which would allow it to know your location at all times but luckily it has been blocked by both Apple and Google due to breaking their terms and conditions.
Under the terms that all health authorities signed up to in order to be permitted to use Apple and Google’s privacy-centric contact-tracing tech, they had to agree not to collect any location data via the software. But Hancock and his team wanted to add an update which allowed users to upload logs of venue check-ins if they tested positive for the virus.
Thankfully Apple and Google blocked the move to track users and instead the old version is the only one available for download.
NHS Covid-19’s users have long been able to scan a QR code when entering a shop, restaurant or other venue to log within the app the fact that they had visited, but this data has never been accessible to others. A separate document also reveals that under the terms “a contact tracing app may not use location-based API’s, and may not collect any device information to identify the precise location of users”.
The Department of Health had described this as being a “privacy-protecting” approach. But despite being opt-in, it was still a clear breach of the terms that health chiefs had agreed to when they switched to adopting Apple and Google’s contact tracing API in June 2020.