Source: Privacy Commissioner
Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has welcomed the removal of the registration requirement for the NZ COVID Tracer app as a positive privacy move.
Mr Edwards says apart from the benefit of strengthening individual privacy, the ability for people to use the app anonymously should encourage more New Zealanders to use it.
“Fast and efficient contact tracing is a key element of New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. Identifying where individuals who have tested positive have been and who they have been in contact with is integral to interrupting the chain of transmission of the virus.”
“While the NZ COVID Tracer app is recommended, some people may not have used the app because they believed their privacy was being compromised. Although over two million New Zealanders have downloaded the NZ COVID Tracer app, the challenge for our health authorities is to grow this number even further and get people to use it.”
“Using privacy-friendly contact tracing techniques enhances the likelihood that even more New Zealanders will be likely to want to contribute to the public health effort to identify and stamp out Covid-19 transmission.”
The update will purge a person’s registration information on the app and remove the requirement to log in to use the app.
The app assists with contact tracing by enabling health authorities to send a notification to get tested to phones that have scanned into a location visited by a Covid-positive case. The app’s capability to do this remains unaffected but no longer has the requirement to retain any identifying information about a person.
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