Privacy and security for NZ COVID Tracer

NZ COVID Tracer has been designed to protect your privacy and keep your data safe.

On this page:


How your personal information is managed

NZ COVID Tracer has been endorsed by the Privacy Commissioner because it’s been designed to protect the privacy of everyone who uses it.

Information that is provided to the Ministry

Any personal information and contact details you choose to register through NZ COVID Tracer are provided to the Ministry of Health so contact tracers can quickly get in touch if you are identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19.

It’s entirely your choice what information (if any) you wish to provide – all information is optional.

Any information you register with the app will never be used for enforcement purposes. It also won’t be shared with another government agency unless that agency is directly involved in the COVID-19 response and sharing the information is necessary for public health purposes during the pandemic.

Information that stays on your phone

Any contact tracing information you choose to record with NZ COVID Tracer is stored securely on your phone where only you can see it. This includes the QR codes you scan, your manual diary entries, your Bluetooth ‘keys’, and your NHI number.

Digital diary entries are automatically deleted from your phone after 60 days, while Bluetooth keys are deleted after 14 days.

If you are identified as a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, it is entirely your choice whether to share your digital diary with the Ministry or upload your Bluetooth keys. You are in control of your data.

If you do choose to share your digital diary, it will never be used for enforcement purposes. It also won’t be shared with another government agency unless that agency is directly involved in the COVID-19 response and sharing the information is necessary for public health purposes during the pandemic.

Anonymised statistical information

Anonymised statistical information is provided to the Ministry for reporting purposes. It is not possible for this data to be linked to an individual app user or location.

Bluetooth alerts and location alerts

Both the Bluetooth alert process and the location alert process have been designed to protect your privacy.

The randomised ‘keys’ used in Bluetooth tracing don’t contain any information about who you are or where you were. This means when an app user receives a Bluetooth alert, they won’t know who sent the alert or where they were when they came into close contact.

Location alerts work through ‘push notifications’ that contain information about times and places where people may have been exposed to COVID-19. If any of these times and places have a match with your digital diary, you’ll receive a location alert. This does not involve transmitting any information from your phone to the Ministry or anyone else.

Privacy Impact Assessment

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has been consulted throughout the development of NZ COVID Tracer and is satisfied that the privacy implications (and their mitigations) for the current release have been appropriately recorded in the Privacy Impact Assessment available below.


Amazon Web Services

NZ COVID Tracer has been developed for the Ministry of Health by New Zealand company Rush Digital and relies in part on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform.

An All-of-Government cloud services agreement with AWS has been in place since 2017. AWS services and infrastructure were reviewed as part of the procurement process and are regularly tested against third-party assurance frameworks.

Any information recorded by NZ COVID Tracer that you choose to share for contact tracing is encrypted before it is sent to the Ministry via the AWS cloud services platform. The Ministry retains control of the decryption keys. 

NZ COVID Tracer has also been assessed by independent security experts to ensure your data is managed securely. 


Deleting your data

You can edit or delete entries in your digital diary at any time:

  • Select My diary' on the 'My data' screen
  • Tap on the entry you wish to edit or delete
  • Tap either ‘Edit’ or ‘Delete entry’.

If for whatever reason you choose to uninstall NZ COVID Tracer, you can request the deletion of any registration information you have provided by sending an email to [email protected]. Please include the reason for your request and a contact phone number.


Accessing or updating your information

You can update any personal information held on your device by bringing up the relevant screen within NZ COVID Tracer. You can check your digital diary at any time by selecting ‘My diary’ on the ‘My data’ screen or by tapping the icon on the top-left of the ‘Record a visit’ screen.

Under the Privacy Act 1993, you can request a copy of any information the Ministry of Health holds about you. Further information: Current data access policy.

Back to top