Privacy and how we use your data

Privacy and data security are very important to the HSE.

The COVID Tracker app protects the privacy of all app users.

Protecting your privacy

If you choose to use the app to store your EU Digital COVID Certificate, the app will store your name and age. This information is not shared with anyone.

You can delete the certificate and your personal information at any time.

The app:

  • will only store your EU Digital COVID Certificate on your phone, if you choose to do this
  • does not hold your phone number unless you choose to add it
  • cannot be used to track your location
  • cannot be used to check if you should be self-isolating
  • can only access information on your phone that you choose to give access to
  • cannot be used to identify your close contacts
  • cannot be used to identify people who have tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus)

You choose what data you share

It's always your choice to:

  • use the app or not - you can delete it at any time
  • share data and information with us or not

You can:

  • change your preferences at any time in the app settings
  • use parts of the app without sharing any data at all
  • use some features without having to use all parts of the app
  • remove or update any information you provided to the app, at any time

Any data that the app collects is stored only on your phone. No one can access it unless you choose to share it with us.

Any data you do share with us, such as your symptoms, can help health professionals know more about the virus and help stop it from spreading.

What data is collected

The app collects and uses a combination of personal data and anonymous data.

Personal data

You can choose to share your phone number, demographics (age, sex, where you live) and health-related data. You don't have to add any of this data if you don't want to.

Your phone automatically shares your IP address. We do not need to use your IP address. We delete this data as soon as your phone sends it to us.

Your phone number

We will not know your phone number.

Health and demographic information

If you use the COVID check-in symptom tracker on your phone we will ask you to add:

  • the county or town you live in
  • your age group
  • your sex
  • your symptoms

If you decide to add this information, it will be uploaded to the HSE and shared anonymously with the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

This information can help us to understand more about the spread of the virus.

It's always your choice if you want to share this data or not. You can change what information you want to share at any time.

EU Digital COVID Certificate

You can choose to use the app to store your EU Digital COVID Cert. This is not shared with anyone.

The app will also store information about your vaccination on your phone.

It will store your:

  • name
  • age
  • COVID-19 vaccination details, COVID-19 negative test result or your recovery from COVID-19
  • unique vaccination certificate identifier (UVCI)

You can delete your certificate at any time. This will remove it from your phone. When you scan the QR code, the app will store the QR code.

Read more about the data collected and processed

IP address

Your IP address is a unique set of numbers that identifies your phone or computer when you use the internet. IP addresses are used so you can send and receive information online.

Your IP address is automatically shared every time you use an app or visit a website.

We do not need to use your IP address. We delete it from our server as soon as we receive any data that you share with us from the app.

Read more about the data collected and processed

Anonymous data

The anonymous data we collect includes data about how you use the app.

Data about how you use the app

We collect data about how you use the app. This is called 'app metric data'.

We collect it to improve the app and to understand:

  • how the app is being used
  • its impact in helping slow the spread of the virus

This app metric data does not reveal your identity. But it's your choice if you want to share this data or not.

Read more about app metric data

Third-party companies

For the app to work we use the services of a few companies. These third-party companies process some of the app's data, including your anonymous information.

See a list of third-party companies we work with that use your data

Safe, secure and compliant

We have created the app based on EU guidelines, EU recommendations on privacy, HSE standards and data protection law.

This means the app:

  • is safe and secure to use
  • is legally compliant
  • meets the standards expected to keep data secure and confidential

Read more about compliance and security.

Deleting your data

You can choose to delete the app and your data at any stage.

To do this:

  1. Go to 'Settings' in the app.
  2. Select 'Leave'.
  3. Tap on 'I want to leave'.

This will delete the app and your data. If you have stored your EU Digital Covid Certificate you can delete this at any time.

Contact our data protection officer

The HSE Data Protection Officer (DPO) can be contacted directly at dpo@hse.ie or by phoning 01 6350 359 (HSE Data Protection Officer).

How to contact the Data Protection Commission if you wish to make a complaint

Transparency

As part of our commitment to transparency, you can view the:

How we keep your data secure

Partner organisations

Organisations from Ireland and around the world worked together to develop the COVID Tracker App.

They included partnerships around:

  • project governance and delivery
  • research
  • technology
  • commercial

Project governance and delivery

  • Department of Health
  • HSE
  • Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, Department of Expenditure and Reform (OGCIO, DPER)
  • An Garda Síochána

Research

  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
  • Economic and Social Research Institute Behavioural Research Unit (ESRI BRU)
  • Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Services (IGEES)
  • Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (DP3T, Switzerland)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Private Automated Contact Tracing (MIT-PACT)

Technology partners

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Amazon Web Services

Commercial partners

  • Nearform
  • Expleo
  • Information Security Assurance Services (ISAS)
  • EdgeScan