The UK Track ‘n’ Trace App: Where is it?

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About a month ago, I looked into the trace and tracking app that was going through trials on the Isle of Wight, explaining the dangers of it and why it would ultimately be a bad idea. Well, it’s back again.

A reviewed version of the app was supposed to go into trial on Tuesday but has since been postponed. Ministers are now thinking that the app should be designed by the devs at Apple and Google, which sounds like a novel idea (it’s only taken them a month).

Originally, the app was supposed to be launched across England by the first of June, ten days ago. He then said that the government had decided that they needed a number of human contact tracers to get the thing kicked off. However, it’s been discovered that one of the main reasons that the app has yet to be launched is due to the fact that Bluetooth has problems judging distances.

How Does the App Work?

  1. You download the app.
  2. You go out to do grocery shopping (with your phone).
  3. You come into close proximity with a person infected with COVID.
  4. You’re alerted that you have come into close proximity with a person infected with COVID.

In Trinity College in Dublin, a study was conducted to highlight problems with using a Bluetooth signal to gauge distance. The results displayed these factors that “can very substantially” change the data:

  • Whether the phone is near any metal objects.
  • If the device is indoors or outdoors.
  • If two people are walking one behind the other or side-by-side.
  • If the signal has to pass through another body to reach the phone.
  • How deep in a bag the phone is kept.

Honestly, between data being tracked and stored and the list of issues surrounding Bluetooth as a means of ‘handshaking’, I wouldn’t hold your breath on it making a return at all.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact the Samurai team here.

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