If you’ve been out of the house and into a bar or restaurant, the chances are you’ve had to fill out a Test and Trace form. You enter your personal details so that you can be contacted, in the event that the place you’ve been experiences an outbreak of coronavirus.
However, it certainly isn’t to be used as a way to try and pick up potential love interests.
Take Kat Kingsley for example, she got more than she bargained for when she was sent ‘creepy’ messages by a city sightseeing bus tour worker – who she claims got hold of her details from one of the forms.
The 25-year-old provided her personal details in case she needed to be contacted – but was shocked when a member of staff on the Original Tour bus, in Windsor, London, used her number to message her twice asking to see her again.
The man, who she said was Italian, told her that she had been ‘living in his head’. In the messages, sent three days after the trip, he also admitted to ‘knowing all the risk involved in using data that’s not supposed to be for me’.
Kat, a nanny, got on the bus on Thursday with a child she was looking after and gave her name and phone number to a staff member, who wrote them on a piece of paper as part of the NHS Test and Trace system.
She described the messages she then received on Sunday night as ‘creepy’ and said they left her ‘weirded out’.
Kat, of Hayle, Cornwall, was left shaking after having to report the incident. She said: “I am a nanny and I took the child I was caring for to Windsor for a day out, and wanted to take him on the open top bus.
“We got on the bus, had a great time, said our goodbyes. This was on Thursday. Then on Sunday night at about 10pm, I received very strange messages from the bus ticket man.
“At first I was pretty shocked, I never thought this would happen to me – but I figured I’d wait until the morning to ask for advice from people. When I woke up I thought about it more and more, and realised how big of an issue this actually is.
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“Not only that, but he had mentioned the child’s name in the messages as well. So as a duty of care for the child, I had to report it anyway.
“I suffer from situational anxiety, and I was so anxious not only that this had happened, but the fact I had to go and tell the family that unfortunately their child is involved.
“I was quite literally shaking all morning, when I told the parents. I have a number for a man that works for the company to give me a formal apology, but I’m not sure how I want to follow through yet.
“I would just urge people to be cautious as the system is not very safe and needs re-evaluating. Now I don’t think I will give my details over again. I’m going to be wary of everywhere else.”
The company has now launched an investigation and said it ‘takes the matter extremely seriously’.
Kat feels the whole Test and Trace system needs re-evaluating, adding: “The government really need to re-assess the Track and Trace system. All it’d take is for the wrong person to get the wrong information and somebody could end up in a much worse position than I.
“I want to know how our government can make our data safer. I just sort of stared at the messages trying to figure it out. It seems like a small thing when you first look at it, but when you look into it you realise it’s much bigger.”
Original Tour said if the incident was ‘proven’ as a result of the investigation, it would be deemed totally unacceptable’ and the compant would take appropriate action. A spokesperson added: “It goes against the values of our organisation entirely.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The unauthorised use of customers’ information provided for contact tracing is unacceptable and every business must comply with all data protection legislation.”