EPIC Seeks Records About Utah and North Dakota’s Contact Tracing Apps
May 14, 2020
EPIC has filed two government records requests to Utah and North Dakota seeking information about their contact tracing apps launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utah launched Healthy Together, an app that tracks individual movements using Bluetooth and location tracking services. North Dakota similarly launched its own contact tracing app called Care19, which collects GPS location data, WiFi data, and cell phone tower data to track an individual's movements over time. Both Utah and North Dakota claim that the use of the apps are voluntary and that users can delete the sensitive data collected. But neither state has disclosed any privacy assessments or independent audits conducted on the apps. On the federal level, EPIC is pursuing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Justice seeking DOJ legal analysis about the collect of GPS and cell phone location data. EPIC has also told Congress that government agencies and private companies must establish privacy safeguards for digital contact tracing.