Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog
In June, our office awarded a Privacy Trust Mark to an independent contact tracing app called Rippl. We liked Rippl because it was created along Privacy by Design principles and it met the privacy-protective criteria of our Privacy Trust Mark programme.
Our Privacy Trust Mark programme was launched in 2018 to give consumers confidence that products or services awarded a Trust Mark respect and protect personal information.
Rippl had a strong case for a Privacy Trust Mark for several key reasons. Firstly, it did not collect any personal information, other than the check-in and check-out times associated with a QR code.
Secondly, Rippl is designed with user control of the information at the forefront. All information collected is held by the user on their device. Disclosure of the information relies on the user voluntarily giving it to the health authorities. It is also made clear to users that they can delete their information either from within the app or by deleting the app entirely.
Thirdly, Rippl explains to users how it works in simple and clear language.
Fourthly, the information it collects is encrypted, protecting it from unauthorised access.
In summary, Privacy Commissioner John Edwards said Rippl users could be assured of their privacy while enjoying the full benefits of a contact tracing solution because users had complete control over their information.
We were pleased to learn recently that Rippl had gain attention overseas as contact tracing solution that protects privacy.
In Britain, the app is being trialled under the name “StaySafe Diary”. It is being marketed as a solution for businesses which want to comply with the British government’s test and trace programme as well as the European Union’s GDPR privacy law. After criticism by privacy advocates, the British government has conceded its test and trace programme breaches GDPR requirements. You can read about it here and here.
Another interesting aspect to the promotion of the StaySafe Diary is that it comes from New Zealand where we have gained international acclaim for our relatively successful management of the Covid-19 virus. The video for the StaySafe Diary even references our Privacy Trust Mark!
Rob Holmes is the technical director of Paperkite, the Wellington-based company, that created Rippl. He says feedback from Britain has been very positive. A consultancy and digital services company, Capita, is championing the StaySafe Diary and is lobbying local and central government to try and get support for a mass rollout of the app.
Rob says Paperkite is also talking to other groups, including exploring opportunities in the Pacific. The Privacy Trust Mark is an important feature of its marketing, as demonstrated in this slide deck.
We’re pleased Rippl is proving a marketable privacy-friendly product that fills an evident gap in technological solutions to combat the virus while maintaining privacy. It’s a win on several levels. As a New Zealand made product, the app helps reinforce the brand and reputation of our country as one that has managed the impact of Covid-19 better than most countries. It promotes a privacy-friendly approach and it is able to leverage our office’s Privacy Trust Mark to good effect internationally.