Scottish Government ignored Covid ID privacy concerns for months

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today said that his party's warnings that the Scottish Government's Covid ID app represented a grave threat to privacy have been entirely justified after the Information Commissioner's Office issued a stern public rebuke of the Government's failure to provide adequate privacy information within the app at launch and an “ongoing failure” to provide concise privacy information so the “average person” could understand how the app was using their information.

ICO deputy commissioner Steve Wood said that "When governments brought in COVID status schemes across the UK last year, it was vital that they were upfront with people about how their information was being used. The Scottish Government and NHS National Services Scotland have failed to do this with the NHS Scotland COVID Status app.

Responding, Mr Cole-Hamilton said: 

"Scottish Liberal Democrats warned that the Scottish Government's Covid ID scheme put people's privacy at risk. 

"Now the Information Commissioner's Office has issued a stern rebuke, highlighting that personal information was passed to private firms and that people were not told how their data would be used. 

"This project has been shrouded in secrecy and justified by ministers on the basis of hunches and assumptions about how effective it was. 

"Rather than consign it to the dustbin, this week the First Minister allowed firms to continue to use Covid ID to restrict access to services. 

"This astonishing intervention makes clear that she should be hitting delete and ensuring that all the private information held by the government and the firms who made this app is safely disposed of."

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