Contact Tracing? My data?!

Do you worry about your personal data? You should. What about with contact tracing becoming a thing?

Quite a while ago I wrote an article about how I customise email addresses for different services so that I can both easily find communications with that service or company, as well as get a good idea who's selling on my data. For example if I start getting SPAM for then I know that data probably came from 'ThisCompany'. You can see the article here:

NO! We do not sell your data! (Working title - Email Aliases)

Today in a coffee shop at Canary Wharf I was asked to fill in some details for Covid Contact Tracing. I've no real issue with that. I did however have an issue with the small-print T&Cs. Scanning the QR code took you to a web page all official looking with Covid warnings and asking for your contact details….and buried down in tiny text at the bottom was a link to the T&Cs.

Let's just say I suspect contact tracing was the last real thing on their mind, and they actually just wanted my data for their marketing database. All the default options allowing marketing spam, use of my data in other areas of their business - whether 'wholly owned' or not - which is of course code for 'we may sell your data to a third party'.

So I just filled it in with crap data.

This brings to light the importance of protecting your data. I have now setup email addresses specific for use for contact tracing where it's needed. I've also got a mobile no I only use for this purpose too, but that's probably overkill for most.

I'm really keen to see who actually abuses the data they gather. I'd seriously suggest setting up a specific email address for this usage - you can see how in the original article. The GoogleMail method of works pretty well for this purpose by the way.

Be careful with your data, but those companies absolutely will not be.

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