EPIC Obtains North Dakota Contact Tracing App Contract; App Goes Against Privacy Policy and Sends Data to Third Parties

May 26, 2020

Through a government records request EPIC has obtained the contract between North Dakota and ProudCrowd, LLC for the Care19 contact tracing app launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-year software license agreement between ProudCrowd and North Dakota provides the state use of the contact tracing app and use of server space. According to the state, the Care19 app generates a random ID number for each user when it is tracking users' movements. North Dakota's privacy policy states that the location data is kept private (not sent to third parties) and stored securely on ProudCrowd servers. The state has not explained why it would store private health data on a storage system not controlled by the government. But a recent report indicates that the Care19 app sends location data and a unique user identifier to Foursquare and a software bug tracking company called Bugfender. The app also sends the phone's advertising ID to Google. ProudCrowd states that it will update the app and its privacy policies in the future. EPIC has told Congress that private companies must establish privacy safeguards for digital contact tracing.

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