The program aims to notify people after they've come in close contact with someone who tested positive.
- The program currently involves 25,000 contract tracers who are capable of tracing 10,000 contacts per day.
- Participation in the program is voluntary, though officials said it may become mandatory if necessary.
- The program will eventually include a smartphone app that records who you've come in close proximity to.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY / Getty<p>Hancock said the program will be voluntary at first, but that the government will make it mandatory if "that's what it takes."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"If we don't collectively make this work, the only way forward is to keep the lockdown," he said. "The more people who follow the instructions, the safer we can be and the faster we can lift the lockdown."</p><p>The NHS wants people who are experiencing symptoms to visit <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/" target="_blank">nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19</a>. The agency also wants to automate its Test and Trace program through the <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/05/27/nhs-app-covid-19-uk-coronavirus-track-trace/" target="_blank">NHS COVID-19 app</a>, which is currently being tested by more than 52,000 people on the Isle of Wight. If the test on the Isle of Wight is successful, the app is expected to be available for the rest of England in June.</p>
How the contact-tracing app works<p>The app doesn't ask for names or personal information, except for a partial postal code. Rather, each user's phone is assigned a randomized identifier number that's transmitted to a centralized database. The app doesn't do much else, besides ask users how they're feeling each day.</p><p>Other governments have already been using digital contact tracing apps to limit the spread of COVID-19. South Korea, for example, made a tracing app mandatory for new arrivals to the country, and people who violate quarantine are required to wear location-tracking bracelets. As of May 29, South Korea has reported less than 300 deaths. The U.K. has suffered <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-casualties/uks-covid-19-death-toll-tops-40000-worst-in-europe-idUSKBN22O16T" target="_blank">more than 40,000</a>.</p>
Privacy concerns<p>Manual contact tracing has been used for decades to help contain viruses — the NHS describes it as a "tried and tested method used to slow down the spread of infectious diseases." But the prospect of digital contact tracing has <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/28/contact-tracing-apps-can-help-stop-coronavirus-they-can-hurt-privacy/" target="_blank">raised concerns for privacy advocates</a> who question how governments and private companies might use the technology. </p><p>Speaking about the new NHS app, Ian Levy, the technical director of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), told <a href="https://www.wired.co.uk/article/nhs-covid-19-tracking-app-contact-tracing" target="_blank">Wired U.K.</a>:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"In theory, that's a privacy risk, but it's only stored on the NHS app system and there's no way to link device 123456 to 'Ian Levy' or a particular place," Levy said. "If you discover that my app ID is 123456, there are some theoretical things you can do to try to understand my contacts if you've followed me round. But if you've followed me round, you've probably seen my contacts anyway."</p><p>In the U.S., federal officials haven't indicated that they're developing a national contact-tracing app. But several states — <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelsandler/2020/05/20/alabama-north-dakota-and-south-carolina-to-debut-apple-and-googles-covid-19-contact-tracing/#4147ac591732" target="_blank">Alabama, North Dakota, and South Carolina</a> — are working individually with Apple and Google to implement their own contact-tracing apps. </p><p>Similar to the NHS app, Apple and Google's system uses Bluetooth signals to record when users come in close proximity with each other. The companies said their system won't collect users' personal information. </p><p><span></span>Apple and Google develop the contact-tracing apps themselves. Rather, they've made the technology available so that individual health agencies to do so. In addition to the three U.S. states, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelsandler/2020/05/20/alabama-north-dakota-and-south-carolina-to-debut-apple-and-googles-covid-19-contact-tracing/#49f900e1732e" target="_blank">22 countries have also signed on to use Apple and Google's system.</a></p>
Insert dial-up noise here. If you're not concerned about what's about to happen with net neutrality, you're not paying attention.
We used to use technology. Now technology uses us. Silicon Valley ethicist Tristan Harris explains how the attention economy hijacked our self-worth for profit.
In the 1970s, at the dawn of personal computers, people like Steve Jobs and the scientists at Xerox PARC talked about computers as "bicycles for our mind". Sure, someone was going to make big money selling these hardware units, but the intention was at heart quite pure; computers would give our minds wheels to go farther than ever before. Our capabilities would be augmented by technology, and we would become smarter and more capable. That ethos has not really stuck, and today we find ourselves in a Pavlovian relationship with push notifications, incapacitated by the multi-directional pull on our attention spans.
Dyslexia makes letters float, rotate, and flip on a page. It turns M's into W's, q's into p's, and so on. Changing the font-face might be able to help keep the letters in place on the page.
The debate between which is better, eBooks or page turners, has been going on for a few years. The paper books smell better, the aesthetic growing as the pages turn yellow and the ink smudges from where the stories made the reader cry.
Don't work with children or animals? Sir David Attenborough laughs in the face of danger.
Sir David Attenborough’s adventures are being retold. His time in nature exploring the nooks and crannies of wildlife will now be featured on Storytime, an app with 2.4 million downloads, that is designed for toddlers. With Attenborough’s narration, the Storytime app run by CBeebies (a BBC television network for the under six age group) aims to help young children learn how to read on their iOS and Android screens.