Tuesday, 12 May 2020

TalkTalk’s ex-CEO Dido Harding heads up the UK’s Coronavirus tracing app! What could possibly go wrong?...


The UK has decided to develop a smartphone app that might help quickly trace recent contacts of anyone with the coronavirus. But, unlike many other countries, you are trialling a “centralised” model app, which requires the potentially sensitive data on a central computer server rather than the alternative, “decentralised” model proposed by Apple and Google, where information stays on people’s handsets.

Obviously calming people’s understandable privacy and security concerns about such an app is going to be an important factor to increase chances that a decent proportion of the public will download it.

So, who does the UK government appoint to head up the NHS COVID-19 tracing app? None other than Baroness Harding of Winscombe. Perhaps better known to you and me as Dido Harding, the former CEO of TalkTalk.

Yup, that's right - Dido (not this one!) who was the head of TalkTalk - at the time of a massive data breach! The hack which used a SQL injection attack, combined with leaving database software unpatched 3.5 years after a fix was available (watch the video here for the full train wreck). Frankly she wouldn't have been my choice for this role! Lets hope dear Dido pays a bit more attention to data security on this project - for all our sakes...


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