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Gloucestershire Business News

Government grants GCHQ new NHS powers

The Government has given new powers to Cheltenham-based GCHQ to tighten security controls over data and IT systems in relation to the NHS.

The main reason for this is for the new contact tracing app, piloted in the Isle of Wight from today, which will provide data to the NHS about the spread of coronavirus, as reported by Digital Journal.

The powers were set out in a new document, 'The Consent to Activities Related to the Security of NHS and Public Health Services Digital Systems (Coronavirus) Directions 2020', which says the move is necessary to protect the network and information systems.

Similar contact tracing apps are already in use around the world. But questions have been raised about data privacy and whether people can trust the government and NHS with their health data.

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