Covid-19 contact tracing app will propel UK towards a surveillance state

The new NHS contact-tracing app puts the UK on the slippery slope of declining digital privacy in a post-coronavirus world

Photo/Anna Shvets

Desperate times call for desperate measures, or so the saying goes, and in the continued battle against the coronavirus, we may be asked to forfeit our privacy in an attempt to control the rate of infections. 

The UK government has announced that it will be rolling out a contact tracing app in the coming weeks, which people can download and report themselves as having Covid-19 symptoms, as well as receive information about those they come into contact with. While this might sound like an ideal solution on the surface - given it may allow the end of the lockdown - many cybersecurity experts have raised concerns. Over 170 scientists and researchers published an open letter filled with warnings to the British government following the news that NHSX - the digital health wing of the NHS - would be depending on the app and the use of Bluetooth signals.

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