*Reassuringly dull cyber security e: info@normcyber.comt: +44 (0) 203 855 6215

Test and trace scheme was launched unlawfully


The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has conceded that the Government’s test and trace scheme aimed at tracing the contacts of people infected with Covid-19 was launched without carrying out a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) – an assessment of its impact on privacy.

The DHSC, through a spokesperson, said there is no evidence of data being used unlawfully has added “NHS Test and Trace scheme is committed to the highest ethical and data governance standards … while taking full account of all relevant legal obligations.”

However, the spokesperson for the DHSC did not respond when asked whether a report in The Sunday Times, which found Test and Trace workers were sharing patients’ confidential data on social media sites, was evidence of data being used unlawfully.

The ICO said that, while it recognised the urgency in rolling out the programme, if the public were to have confidence in handing over their data and that of their friends, “people need to understand how their data will be safeguarded and how it will be used”.


A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) is a process to help you identify and minimise the data protection risks of a project. It is a legal requirement to carry a DPIA for processing that is likely to result in a high risk to individuals (as Track & Trace) is likely to be. The aim of DPIAs is to ensure that risks are mitigated before data processing occurs.

Instead, what appears to have happened in this instance is a rushed-out system, seemingly compromised by unsafe processing practices – a lesson for all organisations proposing to introduce or rely on new ways to process personal data.

According to Sky News, contractors working for NHS Test and Trace have been told they may be fired following reports of dozens of staff sharing patients’ confidential data on social media.

If your organisation is looking to comply with the requirements of the GDPR then take a look at how our CSaaS and DPaaS solutions can help.

Appointing NormCyber as our virtual DPO has given Ferrero the best of both worlds – access to data protection experts who understand what we stand for as a business, without the hefty overheads usually associated with appointing an in-house DPO.

Harpreet Thandi
Regional Counsel, UK & Ireland, Ferrero

We were looking for a virtual DPO service that offered all of the benefits of a fully qualified data protection lawyer, without the overheads of an in-house hire. The DPaaS solution from norm. has been invaluable in helping us to ensure we respect the integrity of our customers’ personal information, while using it to continue to deliver differentiated products and services which support our growing customer base.

Mike Whitfield, Compliance Manager

CSaaS allows me to step away from multi-vendor management as the Security Operations Centre coordinates all of the technology for me.

David Vincent, CTO

We were in the market for an independent Data Protection Officer service that was well versed with both UK and EU regulators. We’re thrilled to have acquired this service knowing that an expert is available 24/7.

Suzanne McCabe, Head of Project Management
James Hambro & Partners

Norm’s penetration testing layer, along with the suite of CSaaS modules has enabled MA to exceed all its audit requirements for its major clients.

Rob Elisha, ICT and CRM Manager
Montreal Associates

The speed of your Data Protection Officer’s response was very impressive – it was far quicker than I would have expected even from an in-house DPO

Will Blake, Director of Technology and Analytics
CRU Group