Group of responsible technologists urges UK COVID-19 app to respect privacy

According to the BBC, an open letter published by a group of “responsible technologists” warns, in reference to the expected release in the UK of an app to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, that by failing to protect privacy the public’s trust in the NHS will be undermined. The open letter offers three urgent recommendations to the UK authorities: (1) Institute a culture of working in the open, with clear, regular public communication about projects being undertaken and the publication of machine readable data and models — to build trust and minimise speculation; (2) Introduce bold emergency governance measures, including privacy and rights impact assessments and the drafting of an expert governance panel, with public and patient participation, to ensure innovation works and is held to account; (3) Develop collective mechanisms for social license, to balance the needs of individuals and the benefit to society, ensuring the communities and groups affected by data collection have a say, and publish clear terms and conditions for any new applications, following in the footsteps of the Singapore government app TraceTogether.