Covid-19: Test and Trace App

Baroness Morgan of Cotes Excerpts
Monday 22nd June 2020

(3 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

My Lords, from the beginning we have worked closely with other countries, including in Asia, Europe and America. We have worked closely with companies including Apple and started our dialogue with it the moment it launched its app. There are a number of challenges. A most profound one is our need to use technology to tackle local outbreaks. Without local information on where new cases have originated, it is difficult for the Government to achieve that task. We look forward to working with Apple to try to define a use case around that.

Baroness Morgan of Cotes Portrait Baroness Morgan of Cotes (Con) [V] - Hansard

Has this experience prompted broader reflection in government about the influence of big tech companies in so many spheres of our lives? Has it prompted a need and desire for proper regulation of those companies now to be brought to bear?

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

My Lords, it has been my experience that working with some of the biggest companies in the world in pharmaceuticals, in diagnostics and in tech has brought to the fore the paramount importance of partnership with big industry. We have benefited enormously from such partnerships and I thank some of the major companies that we have worked with. However, it is undoubtedly the case that government has its own agenda and it is important that we work to champion the needs of the British public, which is where our biggest interests lie.