Sir Ian Taylor writes:
The missteps on the technology front, as far as the Covid response has been concerned, are becoming too numerous to count, but here are some to consider as your advisers continue to turn down offers of help.
An MIQ booking system that meant that someone who wanted to go to a cricket match in Australia has the same chance of getting a spot as someone who hadn’t seen their family for two years! An MIQ system that people with money could pay someone else hundreds of dollars to jump the queue for them. An MIQ system that came up with a Virtual Lobby that allowed you to make up as many passports as you liked because it wasn’t actually linked to the passport database.
A Vaccine Passport system that allows people to download a pdf that can be altered using standard editing software. A Vaccine Passport system that does not require a photograph to confirm you are the person holding the passport to help make the job of overstretched staff at vaccine mandated venues easier.
The vaccine passport system is totally insecure and is basically just a psychological con job. Unless they are asking for photo IDs to accompany it, anyone can use it.
And now, the acknowledgement from our PM that you are happy for them to launch sites that they expect to crash. Really! This is our money you are spending – where is the accountability?
I don’t profess to be an expert on many things, but I think I have earned the right to have a voice when it comes to technology. We have built and launched a number of websites over the years. One of the latest was an interactive golfing platform called Tourcast which launched flawlessly with hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users accessing video, real time 3D graphics and data, for any player, on any hole, for every shot in a golf tournament.
When we launched it, to a global audience, we did not “anticipate” that it would crash. Our client did not “anticipate” that it would crash, and our users definitely did not “anticipate” that it would crash. Nor did we ‘anticipate’ that it would win an Emmy Award – but it did.
With the government site that crashed on Wednesday we are talking about a reported user base of 15,000 people accessing a site that you had two years to get ready!
I used to be on the board of a company that had a requirement to meet at least 99.9% uptime. This meant that any outage of over 40 minutes was treated so seriously it would be discussed at board level.