Professor Carsten Maple and Dr Rebecca McDonald. Speak for Yourself! Attitudes to contact tracing applications in the context of COVID-19: results from a nationally representative survey of the UK population
There is an ongoing debate in the public arena about the use of app-based contact tracing to help manage the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of countries have deployed contact tracing techniques to address the spread of the disease. A trial of a centralised UK app is ongoing on the Isle of Wight.
Despite controversy around what approach is in the public’s best interest, as yet, the opinions of the public have not been gathered, analysed or considered at a representative scale.
We have undertaken a nationally-representative survey of the UK public. We utilised a specific method, a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE), to help understand public opinion on aspects of contact tracing apps.
The purpose of this work is to help inform those intending to design and deploy contact tracing apps in time of pandemic, allowing governments to make appropriate design choices to ensure adequate uptake and participation.
In cases where concern exists, but a government has an overriding requirement, the insights can inform awareness and informational campaigns, to increase understanding of the design choice.
We present here the key initial findings of the work.