What’s in store for contact tracing apps in the UK?

Ben Slinn of Baker & McKenzie LLP discusses recent developments and the data protection aspects the app developers should have in mind.

Over the past few months, contacting tracing apps have received a lot of attention as a way of combating the spread of Covid-19 and facilitating our transition out of lockdown. Understandably, there has also been particular focus on the data protection compliance of these apps, including statements from the ICO in the UK as well as the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and others.

What are contact tracing apps?

Contact tracing is designed to identify and notify people that have come into contact with someone that has tested positive for Covid-19. Although this can be a manual process, tracing can also be supported by the use of apps on mobile devices. These types of apps are designed to detect whether the user of the mobile device has been in proximity to someone else with the app that has confirmed (via the app) that they have Covid-19.

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