UK makes tracing app U-turn for Google-Apple system

A U-turn for the British government over its stalling test-and-trace app.

The decision was taken on Thursday (June 18) to switch to Apple and Google technology to get the troubled program officially up and running.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously stated that the UK app would be “world-beating,” but the original centralized model has been beset with problems, and the nationwide rollout has now been pushed back until the end of the year.

Ministers have already had to admit to technical issues with the app - which is being tested on the Isle of Wight - which meant that it was not ready for use when England had hoped to launch the test and trace system at the end of last month.

Apple and Google have now been in talks with Britain about a change in technology to a decentralized model, which would give users more privacy protection but less insight of potential outbreaks.

The firms have barred authorities from using their software to collect GPS location data or even require users to enter personal data.

Britain's adoption of this 'decentralised' approach would be in line with a growing number of European countries, including Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.