Who in their right mind would download Matt Hancock's Covid app?

Leaving aside the track and trace app's fiddliness, downloading it is like volunteering to be spied upon by the health Stasi

9/24/2020 11:47:00 PM

'Leaving aside the track and trace app's fiddliness, downloading it is like volunteering to be spied upon by the health Stasi,' writes RossjournoClark

Leaving aside the track and trace app's fiddliness, downloading it is like volunteering to be spied upon by the health Stasi

My reluctance is not just down to the government’s lousy record with technology – to judge by the booking system for Covid tests it won’t be long before baffled Aberdonians who haven’t left their city for six months start getting texts telling them to self-isolate on the grounds that the system tracked them standing next to someone in a bar in Putney. It is more that I don’t see what is in it for me to volunteer to be fined £10,000.

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The incentive structure which Hancock has created is bizarre. He is relying on our public-spiritedness to download the app -- telling us that for every person who downloads it we will be a little bit safer.But then he is threatening to use the full weight of the law to punish people who lapse after having been told by the app to self-isolate. One little walk, one little trip down the park and that app will presumably be capable of catching you out and springing you with a fine.

It is rather as if the Stasi had asked people to volunteer to be spied upon. Herr Schmidt, would you like an officer to be stationed outside your flat for 24 hours a day, to help make us all safer from capitalist imperialism? To which I think the answer would probably have been no. Indeed, I suspect such an invitation would have encouraged Herr Schmidt to get on with tunnelling his way out to West Berlin pronto.

Or maybe I am wrong. The Germans have proven to be the keenest citizens in Europe to download their own country’s Covid app, which was introduced on 16 July. Even so, only 22 per cent of the population have bothered to do so – barely a third of the government’s 60 percent target.

That target was based on an Oxford University study which concluded that a take-up rate of 56 percent to be effective in suppressing the virus. No country which has launched such an app has achieved remotely close to this figure. Even in Singapore, which made it a legal requirement for workers to download its app, only one citizen in three has actually done so.

The 56 percent figure, needless to say, assumes that the app actually works. This is not the experience of the German app, which has been found not to work very well on moving trains and buses. These are surely closed environments where the virus is especially likely to spread. There is little point in tracking people who sit next to each other in beer gardens, where even a light breeze will quickly disperse the virus, if you are not tracing them in indoor situations.

What really bugged me about Matt Hancock’s appeal on the Today programme this morning was that he told us it would make our lives ‘easier’. I know that the health secretary – whose family business is in software -- seems to think that all the world’s problems can be solved by our smartphones in some way. But how can it be easier to get out my phone and try to download some fiddly app than it is to do nothing whatsoever?

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Indeed, that is the conclusion I came to when I found myself in a Wetherspoon’s pub where the only way to order dinner seemed to be via the company’s app – which, of course, I would first have to download, which in itself required me to fill in a load of questions to access the pub’s wifi. No thanks.

Read more: The Telegraph »

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Why mention Stasi ? When you have GCHQ?! Not me for sure! GSheralee Volkischer Beobachter complaining about the Stasi! You couldn't make this up! Never would I download it and I make sure everyday my Bluetooth is turned off monkeymonk2012 So far over 10 million of us who want to help do our best to reduce Lang term harm ❓

I don't have any issue with it, I downloaded it today and I'm looking forward to checking in with it. It's on my burner phone though, I'm not stupid! Majeh19 For 100s of years PoliceStates have been dreaming & trying to keep track of where all their citizens are & what they’re doing & who they’re meeting ... & today all people seem to worry about is that they can’t download the PoliceState App! Some just don’t deserve to be free!

Majeh19 If u think u need the Government’s NHS TrackAndTrace App to tell you if you’re ill from CoronaVirus then you have MentalHealth issues! Don’t help them create a PoliceState! Covid19 is about CONTROL & POWER not ur safety! LutherB99406283 The entire second wave is a false positive. INVENTOR OF THE PCR, TELLS IT IS NOT TO BE USED, AS IT CREATES FALSE DATA, AND OPEN TO USE FRAUDUENTLY,WHICH GOVERNMENT IS DOING,TO KEEP THE FAKEDEMIC/PROPAGANDADEMIC/INFODEMIC GOING WITH 'FALSE CASES'

rockyrose Come on Press you could end this Sham right Now! This One Covid Lie Will Bring Down The British Government via YouTube RobStaveley Well I’ve downloaded it, and happy to do so. Used it today. The alternative is to fill in forms which are far more of a nuisance. GhostBarrister Not particularly, but well done for scaremongering.

We went through all this handwringing back in May. The app just helps tracers fill in the gaps and pick up some people who may otherwise only be found if they come forward. It just makes tracing (slightly) easier kheatherbrown I'm not downloading it,I've been asked to sign in to a QR code at a few places but unfortunately my old phone can't download the app.... 'Leaving aside the track and trace app's fiddliness, downloading it is like volunteering to be spied upon by the health Stasi'

HookyGolfer How long before that becomes mandatory as well? How long before they want to chip us like our dogs at the vets? Its already happened for some idiots in Sweden... johnedwards5 Not me! lyndsay_hopkins It will mean many survive Covid! No more than the Apple and Google API. Do you know anything about this subject?

If it was an NHS app. I’d download it. It’s not, so I won’t. Having worked for serco where my personal documents were left on a desk for any body to read and then was brushed under the carpet. I would not trust them with anything dont have a phone I being stupid but the App is one of the simplest I’ve ever part of postcode...switch on tracker ....done...

BeddoeRoger Looks good to me. Pysdoscience and now conspiracy theories. now covering all the 'investigative journalism' clickbait! Matt himself! no thanks Now the telegraph joins the mail in becoming a red top and nutty. This article is very irresponsible Are you doing something wrong? What are you afraid of?

I'm not agreeing with you. If this app told there are few COVID19 cases neighborhood , people in the locality will be more cautious. If we behave carelessly, the virus again will become havoc which brings fresh restrictions and hence harming the already fragile economy They even text you 😡 NHS stalkers 🤣🤣

I think the fines are ridiculous, but this article is nonsense. The app isn’t fiddly, the data stays on the device and even if you get an alert, the only person who knows is you. THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. THIS IS A PROTECTION RACKET ticktock Birdybabe07 I have nothing to hide, do you Yep - Let the old and sick use it.

Please remind me how I can switch my subscription to the Sports pages only? I don’t want to pay for Ross Clark and Allison Pearson’s selfish columns anymore. Thankyou I agree. Angry Bird- Matt Hancock is so smug in his realisation, that Boris won't sack anybody, because he wants to keep his majority! So Matt is safe to, continue his daily bird poop on the population.

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Remind us how much advertising revenue the Telegraph has taken from the Chinese Communist Party in the past year. Anyone that owns a mobile phone or has an Internet IP addresses is already spied on, & has been for years. 😂 Who do you think provided the govt with the stats on lock down compliance? GOOGLE 😂

What you really wanted to say was the health Gestapo, but you're too cowardly. How dare you insult the memory of those who lived under the tyranny of the real Stasi. You appalling human being. OMG, is The Telegraph going to be the people's champion on this? I'll be a customer again, if you get stuck in.

RossjournoClark Alexander Armstrong and Amanda Holden, apparently. RossjournoClark InProportion2 RossjournoClark RossjournoClark RossjournoClark What a ridiculous comment What data would they sell You passed another phone with Bluetooth.. In the meantime use Google, Facebook, twitter, maps etc etc that track everything and sell use all your data

RossjournoClark DrTeckKhong RossjournoClark Simple-do not download it. oldmudgie RossjournoClark I liked the observation that they've spunked millions on re-inventing Foursquare. InProportion2 RossjournoClark All completely useless unless we have a test system that can actually detect cv19. Current system provided over 90% False positive, using a test that can't detect any infection. If cv19 an issue all 'cases' would be treated. Aim here is to keep this going until vax available

paulrey99 RossjournoClark InProportion2 RossjournoClark The better question is who in their right mind would waste millions to develop a covid-19 tracking app: paulrey99 RossjournoClark Oh dear the biased, news again paulrey99 RossjournoClark Resulting in medical fascism RossjournoClark Thank you. The rest of the media, what do you think?

RossjournoClark POLICE BRUTALITY TODAY IN LONDON ItsmeyouneedUK RossjournoClark People that want to be locked in there houses again 😂 RossjournoClark Not a chance RossjournoClark Grow up, this is shit and you know it RossjournoClark surveillance tool RossjournoClark i agree. that's literally what it is. how could this be controversial in any way? it's just a fact. thanks fake news

RossjournoClark Even though its confidential? The torygraph anti covid agenda continues. Gross journalism🙄 RossjournoClark I wasn’t thinking of downloading the app but having read this rubbish from the Telegraph with the usual weird libertarian paranoia I am starting to change my view. RossjournoClark idiot

RossjournoClark I think it's great, not fiddly at all, easy peasy! Pssst, Anyone that owns a mobile phone or has an Internet connection is already being spied on 😂Give your head a wobble! RossjournoClark What? There's nothing fiddly about it!? Easiest app to download and sign up to! I'm against some measures but the app is the least of the issues.

RossjournoClark The prime minster looking ever more porcine.

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