COVID-19 mobile apps and related privacy policies in the Americas 13 July 20

Containment is a key strategy to address and restrict the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Containment requires:

  • the rapid identification and quarantine of infected individuals;
  • determination of persons with whom infected individuals have had close contact in the previous days and weeks; and
  • decontamination of any locations that the infected individual has visited.

To assist with containment, some countries in the Americas have developed contact tracing apps with different approaches and functionalities .

Cullen International’s latest report covers national mobile contact tracing apps and the relevant privacy policies.

View visual on what is ‘contact tracing’

Some findings from the Americas research include that:

  • most countries have launched a national contact tracing app;
  • in Canada and the United States, the decision to develop contact tracing apps is not a federal but a state competence;
  • most countries implemented apps based on a centralised model, while Mexico only gathers and stores health data related to people with COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • individuals voluntarily consent to provide the data by installing mobile apps and consenting to share their location and health contact information.


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