The conversation around the coronavirus test and trace app has gone suspiciously silent. Instead, focus has turned to test and trace strategies, begging the question: what’s happened to the tech? After getting my hands on the app, I’m not surprised that attention has shifted – it simply falls short in a number of areas.
The trial has outdated technology at its heart. It’s not based on the tech most people commonly use. Just working with partners like Google Maps, for example, which is familiar to millions and used daily, would have helped the app to pinpoint user location, exposed people nearby and reminded users of important guidance as they route journeys.
Instead, this app only notifies on interactions after they occur. Considering that the daily government briefings regularly use Google Maps data to track the spread, this is baffling.
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