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UK virus-tracing app switches to Google-Apple model

In a major U-turn, the UK is abandoning the underpinnings of its existing coronavirus-tracing app and switching to a model based on technology provided by Apple and Google.

The move comes the day after the BBC revealed that a former Apple executive, Simon Thompson, was taking charge of the late-running project.

The Apple-Google design has been promoted as being more privacy-centric.

However, it means epidemiologists will have access to less data.

And questions remain about whether any smartphone-based system reliant on Bluetooth signals will be accurate enough to be useful.

The UK follows Germany, Austria and Uruguay among others in switching from a so-called "centralised" approach to a "decentralised" one.

The government is expected to confirm the news within the hour.

Despite the change, the interface presented to users will remain the same.

More to follow

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