Can the new NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app read my WhatsApp messages?
More than 14million have already downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app to protect their loved ones.
It's free from both the App Store or Google Play and is the Official NHS contact tracing app for England and Wales.
We should all have the app on our phones as it's the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk from Coronavirus.
And the quicker you know, the quicker you can alert the people you care about, and your community.
So the more of us that use it, the better we can control coronavirus.
But some people still haven't downloaded the app because of concerns they have about it.
So below we've spoken to the UK Government to clear up some of the myths surrounding it so you can feel confident downloading it today to help protect more lives.
Can the app read my Whatsapp messages – or track my location?
The app cannot track your location – it doesn’t use GPS – check or monitor if you are self-isolating, or see personal information on your phone such as messages or contacts.
Does the app know my personal details – such as my name and address?
The app doesn’t need to know WHO anyone is, or WHERE they are. The app is tracking the spread of the virus, not the movements or locations of app users.
The app protects privacy as it uses Apple and Google’s proven Bluetooth technology, designed so that nobody will know who or where you are. Any data shared with the app is only held on your phone, so if you decide to delete the app (which you can do at any time), all the data is deleted as well.
Does the app send my number to other phones?
As you come into contact with other app users, your phones automatically exchange random codes which tell the app if you have been near anyone for more than 15 minutes and at a distance of less than two metres. Those codes cannot be used by the NHS, government or anyone to identify who you are, or who you’ve spent time with.
If someone later reports a positive test result, the app sends an anonymous alert to anyone who may be at risk. These codes are random, encrypted, and are deleted after 14 days.
Will the QR code check-in reveal which places I've visited?
The QR code check-in feature works anonymously too. If you are alerted to a possible outbreak, it does so without identifying the venue or anyone who was there.
Do I have to tell the app where I live for it to work out my risk?
In order for the app to alert you if your area becomes high risk, you will need to give the first few characters of your postcode. On average this covers 8,000 households and so it is not possible to personally identify you.
If you already have the NHS COVID-19 app, make sure you continue to use it to protect your loved ones. If you haven't downloaded it yet, please visit the App Store or Google Play to download. Learn more at covid19.nhs.uk
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