Wednesday newspaper round-up: NHS app, Airbus, Channel 4
The NHS app is collecting and storing facial verification data from UK citizens in a process which has fuelled concerns about transparency and accountability. The data collection is taking place under a contract with a company linked to Tory donors called iProov, awarded by NHS Digital in 2019, which has yet to be published on the government website. - Guardian
The culture secretary has reiterated his belief that Channel 4 would benefit from a change of ownership, in the latest indication that the government intends to push ahead with privatisation of the state-owned broadcaster. “I believe that if Channel 4 wants to grow then at some point soon it will need cash,” he will tell the Royal Television Society conference in Cambridge on Wednesday. “It can either come on the back of the taxpayer, or it can come from private investment. And it’s my strong position – as a point of principle – that I do not believe the borrowing of a commercial TV channel should be underwritten by a granny in Stockport or Southend.” - Guardian
Lobbyists in Brussels waged a campaign against the rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine by claiming it was insufficiently European, a new book by the jab's inventors has said. Opponents allegedly told politicians last year that they should not order doses of the injection because BioNTech, a German company, had teamed up with US behemoth Pfizer rather than working with another company based in Europe. - Telegraph
Airbus is ready to build a helicopter plant in North Wales to help secure a future contract to replace Britain's ageing Puma fleet. The aerospace giant raised the prospect of the new facility in Broughton, where it already makes wings for Airbus jets. A new factory would create hundreds of jobs and the company said it would tap UK suppliers for parts, further boosting employment. - Telegraph
The chancellor has spoken out in support of private equity taking over British listed companies, saying that the deals signified “good news for our economy”. Private equity firms struck more deals in the UK in the first half of the year than during any other comparable period on record, targeting undervalued listed businesses ranging from John Laing, the infrastructure investor, to UDG Healthcare, a provider of services to the pharmaceuticals industry. - The Times
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