Dept of Health officials dismissed criticism of Covid tracker app as ‘incorrect’

An academic research paper which was critical of the government’s Covid Tracker app was dismissed as “incorrect” and closer to “journalism” than research by the Department of Health.

The criticism was made regarding a paper compiled by Doug Leith and Stephen Farrell, academics within the school of computer science at Trinity College Dublin, which asserted, among other things, that the new app was sharing a great deal of personal information with Google.

In communication with Science Foundation Ireland, one of the app’s sponsors, a senior official in the Department of Health said “once again, Douglas Leith and Stephen Farrell have bounced a paper to… which contains a range of sweeping presumptions and assertions relating to the privacy of the app”.

“Although framed in the format of a scientific paper, it is journalistic in much of its narrative,” the official said. 

It is incorrect on certain key points and it is

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