117995228 E43A45Da 909D 42E8 Bee2 F9195E4Bc724 Nhs Covid-19 App Update Blocked For Breaking Apple And Google'S Rules
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NHS Covid-19 app update blocked for breaking Apple and Google’s rules

An update to England and Wales’s contact tracing app has been blocked for breaking the terms of an agreement made with Apple and Google.

The plan had been to ask users to upload logs of venue check-ins – carried out via poster barcode scans – if they tested positive for the virus. This could be used to warn others.

The update had been timed to coincide with the relaxation of lockdown rules.

But the two firms had explicitly banned such a function from the start.

Under the terms that all health authorities signed up to in order to use Apple and Google’s privacy-centric contact-tracing tech, they had to agree not to collect any location data via the software.

As a result, Apple and Google refused to make the update available for download from their app stores last week, and have instead kept the old version live.

When questioned, the Department of Health declined to discuss how this misstep had occurred.

Scotland has avoided this pitfall because it released a separate product – Check In Scotland – to share venue histories, rather than trying to build the functionality into its Protect Scotland contact-tracing app.

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