UK coronavirus app expert verdict: strong privacy protection and added benefits

The UK has started trialling an app to help contain the spread of COVID-19 by alerting people if they have come into contact with an infected person. Before the trial taking place in the Isle of Wight even began, the government came under fire for the way the app was designed, with questions over its effectiveness and impact on privacy.

We’ll need to wait until we have the results of the trial – but, as engineers who research mobile technology and cyber security, we believe there are good reasons to think the app will both be useful and provide a reasonable level of privacy protection.