There are security risks for users of the Apple version of Alberta’s COVID-19 contact tracing app because — unlike the Android version — it always has to be on, says the province’s information and privacy commissioner.
“Despite the positive aspects [of the app], I have ongoing concerns related to the functionality of ABTraceTogether on Apple devices,” Clayton said in his privacyimpact assessment of the app,adding the app is based on code developed by Singapore. “We recognize the challenges Alberta Health has faced in this regard since the safeguards required are out of its control.
“Nonetheless, given the need to run ABTraceTogether in the foreground on Apple devices, there is a security risk. Running the app on Apple devices requires a device to remain unlocked, which significantly increases risk in case of theft or loss.”
That risk increases for employers in the public, health and private sectors that have obligations to reasonably safeguard health or personal information under Alberta’s three privacy laws – the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Health Information Act and Personal Information Protection Act.