All UK mobile users will receive a test emergency alert on Sunday 23 April which will disable all functions on the phone until its acknowledged

Earlier today, the UK government published a statement stating  they have launched a nationwide Emergency Alerts service operational from today with a UK-wide test to take place in the early evening on Sunday 23 April in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The statement says: “Emergency Alerts will be used very rarely – only being sent where there is an immediate risk to people’s lives – so people may not receive an alert for months, or even years.”

There’s assurance of data protection. The emergency alerts “do not reveal anyone’s location or collect personal data.   Alerts can only be sent by authorised Governmental and Emergency Services users.”

The system enables the government to issue instructions directly to citizens and while it will undoubtedly have the potential to save lives during extreme weather events, there’s also a danger that future governments could use it for nefarious purposes