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'Digital Divide'- The Fundamental Problem With Track And Trace

World - The Health Foundation has made public its concerns that the upcoming contact tracing app will benefit certain sectors of society more than others, risking a ‘digital divide’ when it comes to the app’s usage.

An Ipsos MORI survey found that 43% of those in managerial, administrative or professional jobs have heard ‘a great deal or a fair amount’ about the app. Figures were lower for routine and manual workers, state pensioners and the unemployed however, with 28% stating they had never heard of it.

More worryingly, only 50% of people in this group say they would be ‘likely to’ download the app, compared to 73% in managerial, administrative or professional jobs. 71% of those with a degree or higher report being likely to download the app, compared to 38% of those with no formal qualifications.

Of the latter group, 25% reported to not owning a smartphone.

Many scientists are concerned at the relaxing of lock-down measures without a well-established test-and-trace service. However, this is not expected to work at full speed until September or October, according to a Guardian report.

Although an app was supposed to be part of a national rollout of the test-and-trace programme, it was beset by problems and instead the tracing system started without it. There have also been numerous media reports in recent days of poor test-and-trace implementation.

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