UCL Faculty of Laws


Dr Michael Veale writes Guardian opinion piece on Apple-Google contact-tracing system concerns

1 July 2020

The article discusses that despite benefits of the Apple-Google contact tracing toolkit for individual privacy, the tools provide large tech companies the power to shape communities and change behaviour - with potentially serious consequences.

Dr Michael Veale

Dr Michael Veale (Lecturer in Digital Rights and Regulation at UCL Laws) has authored an opinion piece entitled Privacy is not the problem with the Apple-Google contact-tracing app’, published in the Guardian today.

In the article, Dr Veale explains how the Apple-Google contact tracing API indicates how even privacy enhancing technologies can be used to wield power and change behaviours - such as ad-targeting based on highly sensitive data; identify the geolocation of planned protests; and the areas or industries likely to harbour undocumented migrants. He calls for greater digital rights in order to protect people and communities from the power which tech giants can have.

Dr Veale is a co-developer of the open-source DP-3T system that Apple and Google adapted for their app. In June, it was announced the UK’s Covid-19 tracing app will be switching to the Apple-Google model.

Read ‘Privacy is not the problem with the Apple-Google contact-tracing app’ on the Guardian website now.

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