iCAN information: NHS Covid-19 App available to download 

Thank you to our colleagues at Halton Trading Standards for sharing the following information

iCAN information: NHS Covid-19 App available to download 

Today the NHS Covid-19 app for smartphones has been launched. It can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.  It is designed to make fast, accurate, digital contact tracing possible while protecting your privacy and identity.

It uses the minimum amount possible of your personal data. All the data that could directly identify you is held on your phone, is not stored centrally and is not shared anywhere else. Any data that is provided from the phone will always be anonymised or aggregated, to prevent anyone from identifying you or others.  The app tracks the spread of the virus, but does not track people. It provides important alert features that help manage risk and allow the user to take appropriate action, as well as helping local services better understand and manage response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

 How the app will help you

The app supports contact tracing through your phone, without needing to know anyone’s names or identities.  It includes a notification feature that will alert you if you’ve been near another app user who tests positive for coronavirus, if your local area (postcode district) has a changed risk status, or if you have visited a venue, which later reports an outbreak whilst you were there.  If you test positive, the app will ask you to allow those you’ve been in contact with to be alerted. It uses technology developed by Apple and Google called ‘exposure notification’ and ‘exposure logging’ to do this. The people notified will not know who you are. Likewise, if you receive a notification to self-isolate because you have been exposed to somebody who has tested positive, the notification will be private to you and nobody else will be told about it.

 Digital contact tracing

When you download the app to your phone, the app will generate a code that identifies the app’s existence on your device. This code changes every day so that it cannot be associated with you or your phone. From this code the app produces another randomly generated code every 15 minutes. This code is collected by the app installed on other users’ phones when you come into close contact with them and is held there for 14 days. There is no way for another user to tell that a code collected from your phone relates to you or your phone.  If you receive a positive test result for coronavirus, the app will ask for your permission to share your daily codes with other app users. If you agree, your daily codes will be uploaded to the central system (the DHSC secure computing infrastructure, hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) UK and Microsoft Azure Cloud Services (UK)). The central system will then send your codes to every app user’s phone and each user’s app will check for any matches. Where there are matches, the user will get an alert that they have been in contact with someone who tested positive. The central system does not know who you have been in contact with and it doesn’t record any matches.

Your symptoms and ordering a test

If you choose to check your symptoms using the app, the symptom information that you enter will be processed by the app, but the app will not tell anyone else your symptoms.  If the app advises you to take a COVID-19 test, you will be directed to the NHS Test and Trace website to book a test. The NHS Test and Trace website will open in a new window. This website will collect your contact details (in order to be able to provide the test) but this information will not be shared with the app.

 Venue check-in

When you use venue check-in for the first time, it will ask you for permission to use the camera on your device in order to ‘check in’ to venues, which display the official NHS QR codes. If you check into a venue, information about the venue you’ve been to will be stored on your phone as a record, which you can review at any time over a rolling 21-day period.  This will include details of the venue and the time of your visit. However, these details are only stored on your phone.  If a venue you check into is subsequently identified as high risk, your app will alert you. You will also be able to use your venue check-in to remind you where you have been, if you are talking to a contact tracer after testing positive.  Unless you choose to disclose this information to a contact tracer, this information is private to you and will not be shared with anyone else. You have the option to delete this information at any time by removing either the whole record, or record of individual venues, from the list held on your phone.

The app is free and you will not be asked to make payments or provide your personal or banking information.  If you receive any contact claiming to be from the Covid-19 app, or from NHS Test and Trace, asking you for money or your personal or banking information, ignore it – it will be a scam.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

Get In Touch

Halton & St Helens VCA 

Halton Office: 01928 592 405
St Maries
Lugsdale Road

St Helens Office: 01744 457100 
2nd Floor Beacon Building
College Street
St Helens
WA10 1TF

Email: info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk


Halton & St Helens VCA is an infrastructure organisation that provides advice, information and development support services to voluntary, community, not-for-profit and faith organisations and volunteers in the Boroughs of St Helens and Halton.