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COVID’19 App Poses Data Breach Threat

The Covid’19 tracing app has been introduced to log social interactions based on user’s assessments, of their current infection risk status; which they would upload onto the app itself.
According to Tech Crunch the app already lacks robust legal safeguards against data misuse. There are concerns surrounding the apps data collation, with emphasis on the protections and guarantees of safety the app will envisage usage of, via the data the public will input.

Legal Futures states that the Covid’19 app used in the Netherlands, recently suffered a Data Breach in April 2020. The rushed action of the app creation resulted in approximately 200 names, email addresses and hashed user passwords to be exposed, due to the source code being published online.  Another breach has recently been exposed by the BBC where outsourcing firm Serco, apologised after accidentally sharing the email addresses of almost 300 contact tracers.training staff to trace cases of Covid-19 for the UK government.

Although the need of this technology for a public health emergency is apparent, the rush to implement such app is causing lots of scrutiny with regards to data protection necessities the app should withhold and should discard of once no longer in use. GDPR/DPA regulations is a progressing area of the law, which is continuing to develop the same way in which technology does. The continued requirement to better technology, will always pose risks to data privacy along the way. Ensuring the safeguarding of such sensitive data is a key part of the legal industry to navigate past; to avoid misuse of personal data which could result in many law breaking avenues and mental strains.

The Covid’19 tracing app, has increased the awareness and requirements for such DPA regulations heightening that those avenues must abide by the set rules given to ensure the safety of our nation. The rush of such app along with the anxiety many of the general public are currently residing in due to this pandemic outbreak.; results that the app must be a tool which diffuses such worries and should not further enhance it.  This should be the forefront of the apps intentions, not to expose further threats to society.