Update- June 19th, Apple Responds
Apple has responded to the claims made by UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock that the UK government is working on a 2nd COVID19 contact tracing app its API. When speaking to the Times Apple says:
“It is difficult to understand what these claims are as they haven’t spoken to us. We don’t know what they mean by this hybrid model. They haven’t spoken to us about it.”
The statements from Apple came as a direct contradiction to what the UK government has stated which is that they are working with Apple on an app. Despite the comments from Apple themselves, BBC reports that a Downing Street spokesman insists that they are working closely with Apple and Google on an app.
The UK government, flip-flopping once again now says it will use the Apple and Google COVID19 contact tracing API ditching a previous system that had failed.
The UK will join Germany, Italy, and Denmark in adopting the system by Silicon valley which has earned the name of a “decentralized system”. Former Apple executive Simon Thompson will take charge of the new app. The app itself will remain the same in terms of design, only shifting in backend mechanics.
At a press conference on Thursday, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock is blaming Apple’s operating system for the faulire of the NHS contact tracing app, as reported by the Express:
The Health Secretary stated that iPhones were being blocked from using the NHS app properly. Mr Hancock was speaking at today’s daily briefing when he said: “Our app works well on Android phones but Apple’s software prevents iPhones being used effectively for contact tracing unless you are using Apple’s own technology.
“After we started work on our app Google and Apple started working on their own product. As soon as they did this we started work on both.
“I feel in this fight we must leave no stone unturned so I asked we work on both projects.
“Of course we’ve been testing Google and Apple’s product and as we did this we found they don’t estimate distance well enough, which is mission critical.