Responding to the Health Secretary's announcement that the NHSX app is now being piloted on the Isle of Wight, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:
"We must test, trace and isolate to keep people safe. Mass testing, contact tracing and isolation at the community level for those who test positive is the only safe way out of lockdown.
"While technology can help the tracing work, much of it must inevitably be people-based. Apps like NHSX may help but they carry risks, not least in terms of privacy and efficacy.
“Many will be understandably concerned and, given the sensitivity of data being recorded, it is imperative the Government ensures that any NHSX app meets the highest security and privacy standards.
“The Liberal Democrats demand absolute transparency when it comes to what information is collected, how long it is stored for, and who has access to this data.
"When it comes to contact tracing, outsourcing this process to private companies like SERCO fails to capitalise on local knowledge, which will be crucial in tackling future outbreaks at a local level. The Government must do more to harness local public and environmental health expertise to inform the tracing process.
"We know contact tracing will only be effective if we are also testing at scale. The Government must be frank with the public about the number of tests conducted each day, and the levels of testing needed to ensure the success of a test, trace, isolate approach."