Should your company install the COVID tracing app?

With contact tracing finally taking hold we’re moving in the right direction to match countries like South Korea that are leading the way with tracing the outbreak of the virus.

Many governments around the world are working on different tracing apps.

Some are going with a decentralised approach. Others countries are building apps that won’t disclose any personal information.

We’ve had many questions on how these apps will work which we’ll attempt to answer here.

When we first heard about efforts to release a tracing app, we almost jumped the gun.  Our IT management solution provides an ability to deploy apps to all devices to our clients at the click of a button.

Known in the industry as mobile device management and is extremely useful for updating apps, applying patches and general management of smartphones.

We then started to think about the implications of deploying tracing apps we decided to let our clients know the potential risks.

First, you, as the employer, are opening yourself up to a world of privacy issues if you install the app on work devices.

Many of the apps around the world don’t track and personal information; however, there are a few countries that will have a centralised database that holds information on who you interact with and come into contact with.

This type of data can is deemed as personal.  As such, even though tracking is taking place on a company device, it may be a breach of privacy without consent.

Second, having the app on both a work device and the personal device might reduce the capability of the app.

Apple-Google have collaborated will ask you to opt in to a system that causes your phone to emit Bluetooth signals to other phones around you. When you are in close proximity to another person for an extended period of time — more than five minutes, typically — both of your phones record the interaction. When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they will have the option of anonymously notifying other phones that they may have been exposed to the virus and encouraging their contacts to self-quarantine or seek treatment.

If your workforce carries both personal devices and work devices, this data may not be as useful as work devices are not always carried by employees over weekends and breaks.

If you would like further information on how the tracing apps are intended to work and how your workforce can safely install the apps on their own device, get in touch with us  for some expert support.