Users of the NHS coronavirus app for England and Wales have reported receiving complicated notifications that the chance degree of their space has modified in ways in which contradict official authorities steering.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) mentioned on Saturday it had recognized and resolved the issue, which affected updates made to the app’s postcode alert system on Friday night.
“Why have we all received an alert saying our risk level has changed due to ‘rising risk levels’ … yet it is now MEDIUM? This is very confusing.. what is it?”
Another consumer, who lives in Wakefield, complained of being told by the app on his iPhone that his space is listed as being medium-risk, however that it’s thought of high-risk by model of the app on his Android machine. By Saturday, the iPhone had corrected itself, he confirmed.
Meanwhile, users in London mentioned the alert on their app had nonetheless not modified from medium to excessive in accordance with the tier 2 lockdown restrictions which got here into impact at midnight on Friday.
Ian Grundy, who lives within the London borough of Hillingdon, mentioned his app signifies his space is each excessive and medium threat.
In response a flurry of complaints on Twitter, the app’s official account pointed to a “frequently asked questions” web page on the NHS web site. The FAQs web page explains that postcode districts don’t map precisely to native authorities, and so a couple of alert degree could apply to a specific postcode district.
On Saturday, it mentioned users dwelling in postcode districts the place the alert degree has been modified to mirror the newest authorities steering would obtain an alert in the course of the course of the day notifying them of the change.
Previously the app had three alert ranges: low, medium and excessive. These have now been up to date to correspond with the medium, high and very high ranges of the three-tier lockdown system launched this week.
Jeremy Place, an data safety specialist, told Sky News that as many as 4 million individuals may have been sent incorrect updates by what he described as “a fat-finger error”.
This most likely occurred when a clean file was by chance sent to telephones as an alternative of an alert-level replace, he mentioned. Any cellphone receiving the empty file would have reverted to the outdated system, triggering a message saying “the risk level in your area has changed”.
A DHSC spokesperson mentioned: “We are conscious of a problem which impacted updates to postcode alerts for some app users this night.
“This was identified and resolved within an hour and users’ phones will automatically update to show the correct local alert level for their area, along with new guidance.”