Following reports over the weekend that Test and Trace data can be shared with the police, Munira challenged Matt Hancock to publish the exact data sharing arrangements.

This follows concerns from public health experts that people could be deterred from getting a test if they were worried their data could be shared with the police.

Munira challenges Matt Hancock in Parliament

Speaking in the House of Commons, Munira asked:

“I was alarmed, as were many public health experts, to read reports over the weekend that Test and Trace data is being shared with the police, and even a source in the Secretary of State’s own Department said that this will put people off getting tested – which I hope he will agree with me is the exact opposite of what we need.

Public trust and confidence in Test and Trace is critical, and transparency of the use of personal data is central to that.

So will the Secretary of State therefore publish today the Memorandum of Understanding that he and his Department has signed with the National Police Chiefs’ Council?”

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, responded:

“It is very important that people come forward for testing. As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said yesterday, of course the vast majority of people not only come forward for a test and want to come forward for a test with symptoms but also, want the isolation arrangements to be enforced fairly so that everybody isolates when they need to.

That’s the reason we have taken the approach we have that I set out to the House several weeks ago”

Following this exchange, Munira said:

“Yet again, Matt Hancock has dodged another one of my questions. Transparency is absolutely crucial for the Test and Trace system to work, yet the Government is unwilling to publish the key document that will inform the public how their data is being used.

Without this transparency, I am extremely concerned people will be put off getting tested for Covid-19. The Government must do more to be open and honest about the data it collects. Otherwise, it risks losing trust in the Test and Trace system that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

Photo credits: Number 10 “Matt Hancock Covid-19 Presser 27/05” here