04 Sep 2023
Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6 between 2009 and 2014, set up a meeting between Palantir CEO Alex Karp and the Cabinet Office permanent secretary, John Manzoni, in 2019; a year later the US-based company was awarded a £27 million contract to process border and customs data without competitive
05 Jun 2020
Hours before OpenDemocracy filed suit to compel the UK government to release all the contracts governing its deals with a list of technology firms including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Palantir, and Faculty, the UK government released the contracts. Faculty is being paid more than £1 million to
04 Jun 2020
In the three months from March to May 2020 the UK government awarded at least £1.7 billion in contracts to private companies, most of them without a competitive tender process under emergency procurement measures put in place in March. A quarter of the 400 contracts that government departments have
04 Jun 2020
The app-based track-and-trace system that was supposed to be in place in the UK by June 1 will not be working at full speed until September or October, and the chief executive of Serco, one of the main companies contracted to deliver it, doubted the system would evolve smoothly. Scientists have said
13 Jun 2020
The UK government spent two months touting its contact tracing app as the prospective basis for returning to something close to normality. As the June 1 target date approached, however, the government increasingly downplayed its importance. In the meantime, Apple and Google’s API were adopted by
20 May 2020
After the CEO of NHSx told the the UK parliament that data harvested by the NHSx contact tracing app would be retained for future research, the UK Ministry of Defence said it would turn the data over to its Jhub to sanitise the data and remove all personally identifying information before passing it
19 May 2020

Security researchers have found seven problems with the NHSx contact tracing app including: weaknesses in registration that could allow attackers to steal encryption keys; storing unencrypted data on handsets; generating a new random ID code only once a day; and design decisions with respect to Bluetooth connections that could enable tracking. These questions are independent of whether the app is centralised or decentralised.

Writer: BBC; Chris Culnane and Vanessa Teague
Publication: BBC; State of IT

29 May 2020
The UK's NHSx contact tracing initiative requires anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to provide the full name, postcode/house number, phone number, and email of anyone they've been in contact with, and Public Health England will keep the data for 20 years. The privacy notice was quickly updated