COVIDWISE-Privacy Policy

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Virginia Department of Health COVIDWISE- Privacy Policy

Effective as of July 10, 2020

 This “Privacy Policy” explains how the Virginia Department of Health (“VDH”) collects, uses, discloses and otherwise processes end users’ data in connection with the COVIDWISE mobile application (“COVIDWISE App”). This Privacy Policy also describes the choices available to individuals with respect to data when using the COVIDWISE App.

ABOUT VDH AND THE COVIDWISE APP

VDH oversees public health efforts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The COVIDWISE App is intended for use to facilitate contact tracing in response to COVID-19. Contact tracing consists of notifying and monitoring individuals who have been in close contact with someone who is infected with a virus and could potentially infect others. The COVIDWISE App allows users to store data collected and processed by the App for the purposes of contact tracing locally on the respective user’s mobile device. The COVIDWISE App can notify users if they have been exposed to a COVID-19-infected individual and provide instructions on how and where to get tested.

HOW IT WORKS      

VDH never collects or processes any personally identifiable information from the COVIDWISE App. Random codes are assigned to each device using the COVIDWISE App. Each user's random code changes frequently to further protect their identity. When a COVIDWISE Appuser comes into close contact with another COVIDWISE App user, their random codes are exchanged using Bluetooth. Random codes for close contacts are stored in a user’s device for 14 days. No personally identifiable or location information is collected, stored, or exchanged.

If a user tests positive for COVID-19, they may choose to notify other COVIDWISE App users who may have had close contact with them. To trigger such notification, a user who tests positive for COVID-19 must enter a valid, 6-digit PIN provided by their public health contact tracer. This PIN is randomly generated by public health and only used to enter a positive diagnosis in the COVIDWISE App. Once a valid PIN is entered into the COVIDWISE App, a risk calculation is made using the time, duration, and Bluetooth signal attenuation (proximity indicator) collected by the COVIDWISE App for each contact event between COVIDWISE App users, and other COVIDWISE App users who are calculated to have been in close contact with the user who tested positive will be alerted.  Users may receive exposure notifications in the COVIDWISE App to let them know they encountered a possible exposure.  The user can use the Virtual Agent to learn how to protect their health through preventive measures.

 

YOUR CHOICES

USING THE APP

Using the COVIDWISE App is completely voluntary, and you may choose to install and uninstall the COVIDWISE App at any time. The COVIDWISE App will never collect, track or store your location, GPS information, or personal information.

ENABLING EXPOSURE NOTIFICATIONS

Enabling exposure notification in the COVIDWISE App is your choice. You can enable and disable such notification at any time. It must be enabled for the COVIDWISE App to exchange the random codes with other COVIDWISE App users who you come into close contact with, for you to receive exposure notifications, or for you to notify other COVIDWISE App users if you test positive for COVID-19 by sharing your random codes through a positive report.

 NOTIFYING OTHER APP USERS IF YOU TEST POSITIVE

 If you test positive for COVID-19, you may choose to notify other COVIDWISE App users who you have been in close contact with. Providing notification to other COVIDWISE App users with whom you have had close contact is completely voluntary. The notification will not disclose your identity or any personally identifying information. To enable such notifications, you will need a valid, 6-digit PIN provided by the Virginia Department of Health. This PIN is used to verify your positive diagnosis and prevent false reports. This PIN is not associated with your identity. Once a valid PIN is entered into the COVIDWISE App and you confirm that you wish to enable notifications, other COVIDWISE App users who may have been in close contact with you will be notified. Such notifications will not include your identity or the date, time, or location of the exposure.

 TERMINATING APP PARTICIPATION

Participation in the COVIDWISE App may be terminated at any time by deleting or uninstalling the COVIDWISE App from your device. After the COVIDWISE App is deleted or uninstalled, your device will no longer generate or exchange random codes with other users. Any random codes that were previously shared with other COVIDWISE App users will be automatically deleted after 14 days from the date the code was generated.

SHARING OF INFORMATION

The following event data may be processed and collected in the COVIDWISE App:

  • Installing the COVIDWISE App
  • Enabling and disabling Exposure Notifications
  • Receiving an Exposure Notification
  • Submitting a verified PIN
  • Sharing a positive result
  • Downloading anonymous tokens for positive users that have chosen to notify others
  • Deleting the app

We use the above event information to understand how the COVIDWISE App is being used. This data may be shared with other entities. It may be used in aggregate and anonymous form for statistical or scientific research purposes. This information will not include any personal or location information nor can it be used to identify any COVIDWISE App user.

OPTING OUT OF PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

If you opt-in to receive push notifications within the COVIDWISE App, it may send push notifications or alerts to your mobile device from time to time. You can deactivate push notifications and alerts at any time by deleting the COVIDWISE App, changing your device settings, or changing the push notification settings within the COVIDWISE App.

AGE REQUIREMENTS

COVIDWISE App is not intended for children under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly allow a child under 13 to use the App. If you are between the ages of 13 and 17, you can only use COVIDWISE App if your parent or legal guardian has reviewed and agreed to the Terms of Service on your behalf.

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

We may update this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we make material changes to our Privacy Policy, we will notify you by posting the changes on COVIDWISE App or by using the contact information you provide to the COVIDWISE App. The notification will indicate when such changes will become effective.

If you object to a new Privacy Policy, you may terminate participation in the COVIDWISE App by deleting or uninstalling the COVIDWISE App.

CONTACTING US

If you have any feedback, or any questions, comments, or concerns relating to this Privacy Policy or our privacy practices, please contact us at vdh.virginia.gov or write to us at the following address:

Virginia Department of Health
Re: OIM COVIDWISE
109 Governor Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219