SlowCOVIDNC Privacy Policy

Effective as of August 1, 2020

This “Privacy Policy” explains how the NC Department of Health and Human Services (“NCDHHS”) collects, uses, discloses and otherwise processes end users’ data in connection with the SlowCOVIDNC mobile application (“SlowCOVIDNC app”). This Privacy Policy also describes the choices available to individuals with respect to data when using the SlowCOVIDNC app.

ABOUT NCDHHS AND THE SlowCOVIDNC APP

NCDHHS oversees public health efforts throughout the State of North Carolina. The SlowCOVIDNC app is intended for use to supplement state and local public health officials' contact tracing efforts in response to COVID-19. Public health officials use contact tracing to reach out to people who have been exposed to COVID-19 to offer support. The SlowCOVIDNC app enables users to store anonymous data collected and processed by the app for the purposes of notifying users of potential exposures on the respective user’s mobile device. The SlowCOVIDNC app can also 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

The SlowCOVIDNC app enables users' devices to exchange anonymous tokens through Bluetooth, providing the means for every user's device to keep an anonymous list of potential close encounters. NCDHHS never collects or processes any personally identifiable information from the SlowCOVIDNC app. Anonymous tokens are assigned to each device using the SlowCOVIDNC app. Each device's token changes frequently to further protect user identities. When a SlowCOVIDNC app user comes into close contact with another SlowCOVIDNC app user, their devices' anonymous tokens are exchanged using Bluetooth. These tokens are stored on that user’s device for 14 days. No personally identifiable or location information is collected, stored, or exchanged by either device.

If a user tests positive for COVID-19, they choose whether or not to notify other SlowCOVIDNC app users who may have had close contact with them. To trigger such notification, a user who tests positive for COVID-19 must first enter a valid, 8-digit PIN provided through the PIN Portal, by contacting the Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) call center, or from the Local Health Department. This PIN is randomly generated by public health and only used to enter a confirmed positive diagnosis in the SlowCOVIDNC app. Once a valid PIN is entered into the SlowCOVIDNC app, a risk calculation is made using the time, duration, and Bluetooth signal attenuation (proximity indicator) collected by the SlowCOVIDNC app for each contact event between the device of the COVID-19 positive app user and other SlowCOVIDNC app users. SlowCOVIDNC app users who are calculated to have had potential close contact with the user who tested positive will be alerted. Users may receive exposure notifications in the SlowCOVIDNC app to let them know they encountered a possible exposure. The user can use More Information to learn how to protect their health through preventive measures.

YOUR CHOICES

  • USING THE APP
    Using the SlowCOVIDNC app is completely voluntary, and you may choose to install and uninstall the SlowCOVIDNC app at any time. The SlowCOVIDNC app will never collect, track or store your location, GPS information, or personal information.
  • ENABLING EXPOSURE NOTIFICATIONS
    Enabling Exposure Notification in the SlowCOVIDNC app is your choice. You can enable and disable such notification at any time. It must be enabled for the SlowCOVIDNC app to exchange the tokens with other SlowCOVIDNC app users who you come into close contact with, for you to receive exposure notifications, or for you to notify other SlowCOVIDNC app users if you test positive for COVID-19 by sharing your tokens 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 SlowCOVIDNC app users who you have been in close contact with. Providing notification to other SlowCOVIDNC app users with whom you have had close contact is completely voluntary. The notification will not disclose your identity or any personally identifying information. However, it is possible that other SlowCOVIDNC app users may be able to infer your identity. To enable such notifications, you will need a valid, 8-digit PIN provided through the PIN Portal, by contacting the Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) call center, or from the Local Health Departmen. This PIN is used to verify your positive diagnosis and prevent false reports. Once a valid PIN is entered into the SlowCOVIDNC app and you confirm that you wish to enable notifications, other SlowCOVIDNC app users who may have been in close contact with you will be notified. Entering a PIN and enabling notifications will be considered written consent for the sharing of this information with other SlowCOVIDNC app users. Such notifications will not include your identity or the location of the exposure.
  • TERMINATING APP PARTICIPATION
    Participation in the SlowCOVIDNC app may be terminated at any time by deleting or uninstalling the SlowCOVIDNC app from your device. After the SlowCOVIDNC app is deleted or uninstalled, all information contained in the app is deleted, your device will no longer generate or exchange tokens with other users, and you will no longer receive notifications about potential exposures. During the period of time that the app is installed on your phone, any tokens that were previously shared with other SlowCOVIDNC app users, including any 8-digit PINs, will be automatically deleted after 14 days.
  • SHARING OF INFORMATION
    The following event data may be processed and collected in the SlowCOVIDNC app:
    • Installing the SlowCOVIDNC App
    • Enabling and disabling Exposure Notifications
    • Receiving an Exposure Notification
    • Submitting a verified PIN signifying 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 SlowCOVIDNC 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 will it be used to identify any SlowCOVIDNC app user.

OPTING OUT OF PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

If you opt-in to receive push notifications within the SlowCOVIDNC 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 SlowCOVIDNC app, changing your device settings, or changing the push notification settings within the SlowCOVIDNC app.

AGE REQUIREMENTS

SlowCOVIDNC 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 SlowCOVIDNC app if your parent or legal guardian has reviewed and agreed to the Terms of Service on your behalf. If we learn that we have collected any information through the SlowCOVIDNC app of a person between the ages of 13 and 17 whose legal guardian has not reviewed and agreed to the Terms of Service, or any child under 13, we will take reasonable steps to responsibly delete that information as quickly as possible.

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 SlowCOVIDNC app or by using the contact information you provide to the SlowCOVIDNC 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 SlowCOVIDNC app by deleting or uninstalling the SlowCOVIDNC 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 NCHealthIT@dhhs.nc.gov or write to us at the following address:

NC Department of Health and Human Services

2001 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-2000