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It is an increasingly common modern annoyance: arriving at the front of the queue to pay in a shop, pulling out a smartphone for a hygienic contact-free payment, and staring down at an error message because your phone fails to recognise your masked face.
As more and more nations mandate masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, technology companies are scrambling to keep up with the changing world. But some experts warn the change may have to start with users themselves.
Related: Face masks give facial recognition software an identity crisis
People across the UK are being urged to take up the call to be part of the ongoing and expanding study into coronavirus levels throughout the population.
The head of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has encouraged people who are contacted to be part of the survey to make the “small commitment” in order to help “contain this terrible virus and get on with our lives”.
The more tests we do, the more accurate our figures will become. Without the best information we can’t expect the authorities to make the best decisions about imposing or lifting restrictions.
We want to recruit up to 400,000 people right across England, with more in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too. Their test results will give us a much more localised view of the presence of the virus down to city and county level.
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