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The NHS COVID-19 app trial on the Isle of Wight has now ended. If you still have the app, please uninstall it from your phone.
How data is used by the NHS COVID-19 app
To work, NHS COVID-19 randomly generates a random, unique ID for the app on your phone. The app then records:
- how long you are close to another anonymous app user
- the date and time of these encounters
- the signal strength of other anonymous app users’ Bluetooth, to work out how far apart you were from them
This data will remain on your phone and cannot be accessed by anyone unless you choose to upload it if you later develop symptoms of coronavirus. You can delete the app and all data held by it whenever you want.
If you develop coronavirus symptoms and choose to share the anonymous record on your phone with the NHS, this data will be stored in a secure database in the UK.
The NHS will then send an anonymous alert to app users who you came into significant contact with over the previous few days. This alert will not identify you in any way.
Why the app asks for your postcode
The NHS COVID-19 app only uses your postal district. This is the first part of your postcode, for example “PE12”. This generally contains about 8,000 addresses. It will not provide a precise location as to where you live.
We need your postal district to help the NHS:
- use the app to predict and manage demand on local hospital services
- provide tailored advice to people living within a hotspot area if necessary
- improve the ‘contact risk model’ that determines which app users should be notified when an app user develops coronavirus symptoms
The length of time contact data is stored
The app on your phone will keep a log of anonymous contact data for a maximum of 28 days. After 28 days, this information will be deleted.