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Privacy and data
As of July 1, 2022, the MI COVID Alert app will no longer be in service. This change is part of the ongoing work to determine the state’s most current needs as we respond to COVID-19. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services continues to provide COVID-19 information and resources to help you protect yourself and your family.
If you test positive and need information on quarantine, isolation or how to notify your close contacts, visit Michigan.gov/ContainCovid, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 or contact your local health department.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Effective as of 10/13/2020
ABOUT MDHHS AND THE MI COVID Alert APP
MDHHS oversees public health efforts throughout Michigan. The MI COVID Alert app is intended for use to help facilitate contact tracing in response to COVID-19. Contacts who receive push notifications of past potential exposure will be given the option to be put in contact with Public Health and may be subsequently enrolled in contact monitoring. Contact tracing consists of notifying and monitoring individuals who have been in close contact with someone who is infected with a virus and could potentially infect others.
The MI COVID Alert app is not intended to replace any other contact tracing efforts that the app user may or could be involved in. The MI COVID Alert app allows users to store data collected and processed by the app only for the purpose of contact tracing locally on the respective user’s mobile device. The MI COVID Alert app can notify users if they have been potentially exposed to a COVID-19-infected individual and provide instructions on how and where to get tested.
The MI COVID Alert app only works when both individuals have downloaded and agreed to activate the application. The MI COVID Alert app will not exchange Bluetooth information with users who have not installed the MI COVID Alert app.
HOW IT WORKS
MDHHS never collects or processes any personally identifiable information from the MI COVID Alert app. However, if the app user receives a push notification that they may have been exposed, MDHHS may have the virtual agent ask the app user for their name and phone number. This information would be used to connect app users to their local health department and may be used to enroll app users in contact monitoring. Random codes are assigned to each device using the MI COVID Alert app. Each user's random code changes frequently to further protect their identity.
When a MI COVID Alert user comes into close contact with another MI COVID Alert user, their random codes are exchanged using Bluetooth. Random codes for close contacts are stored in a user’s device for 14 days. No personally identifiable or location information is collected, stored, or exchanged.
If a user tests positive for COVID-19, they may choose to notify other MI COVID Alert app users who may have had close contact with them. To trigger such notification, a user who tests positive for COVID-19 must enter a valid, 8-digit PIN provided by their public health contact tracer. This PIN is randomly generated by public health and only used to enter a positive diagnosis in the MI COVID Alert app. Once a valid PIN is entered into the MI COVID Alert app, a risk calculation is made using the Bluetooth signal attenuation (proximity indicator) and duration of proximity collected by the MI COVID Alert app for each contact event between MI COVID Alert app users. MI COVID Alert app users who are determined to have met these proximity and duration parameters with the user who tested positive can then be alerted. Users may receive exposure notifications in the MI COVID Alert app to let them know they may have had a possible exposure with a confirmed case of COVID-19. The user can use the Virtual Agent to learn how to protect their health through preventive measures, the location of nearby testing site (in the event that they wish to seek testing), and can be put into contact with their local public health department
USING THE APP
Using the MI COVID Alert app is completely voluntary, and you may choose to install and uninstall the MI COVID Alert app at any time. The MI COVID Alert app will never collect, track or store your location, GPS information, or personal information.
Once you have uninstalled the MI COVID Alert app, it will no longer function and will no longer share information over Bluetooth.
Carrier data may be used for the purpose of transferring data necessary to detecting possible exposures. Carrier data rates may apply.
ENABLING EXPOSURE NOTIFICATIONS
Enabling exposure notification in the MI COVID Alert app is your choice. You can enable and disable such notification at any time. It must be enabled for the MI COVID Alert app to exchange the random codes with other MI COVID Alert app users who you come into close contact with, for you to receive exposure notifications, or for you to notify other MI COVID Alert app users if you test positive for COVID-19 by sharing your random codes 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 MI COVID Alert app users who you have been in close contact with. Providing notification to other MI COVID Alert app users with whom you have had close contact is completely voluntary.
The notification will not disclose your identity or any personally identifying information. To enable such notifications, you will need a valid, 8-digit PIN provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services or a local health department in Michigan. This PIN is used to verify your positive diagnosis and prevent false reports. This PIN is not associated with your identity. Once a valid PIN is entered into the MI COVID Alert app and you confirm that you wish to enable notifications, other MI COVID Alert users who may have been in close contact with you will be notified. Such notifications will not include your identity or the date, time, or location of the exposure.
RECEIVING A NOTIFICATION THAT YOU MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED
If a user tests positive for COVID-19 and shares their positive test result, other app users may be notified through a push notification that they may have been exposed at some point in the past, if the app’s predefined proximity and duration parameters were met at the time of the potential exposure. The app will not disclose any identifiable information about other app users.
Receiving a push notification that you may have been exposed is only an indication of a potential exposure. It does not indicate that an exposure is known to have occurred.
App users who receive a push notification will be provided with follow-up educational information by the app’s push notification process. If the app user wants to receive follow-up educational information, the app user may be asked to disclose the county that they live in and will be directed to the local health department in that county.
App users who receive a push notification will be given the option to connect with a virtual agent where they can pose questions and receive guidance (e.g., how and where to find a COVID-19 testing center near them). To receive additional information and guidance, the app user will be asked to disclose their county so that they can be directed to the local health department in that county.
The names and phone numbers of app users who voluntarily share this information will never be shared with other app users. Names and phone numbers will only be used for the purposes of providing education and/or enrolling the app user in contact monitoring.
ENDING APP PARTICIPATION
Participation in the MI COVID Alert app may be ended at any time by deleting or uninstalling the MI COVID Alert app from your device. After the MI COVID Alert app is deleted or uninstalled, your device will no longer generate or exchange random codes with other users. Any random codes that were previously shared with other MI COVID Alert app users will be automatically deleted after 14 days from the date the code was generated.
SHARING OF INFORMATION
The following event data may be processed and collected in the MI COVID Alert app:
- Installing the MI COVID Alert app
- Enabling and disabling Exposure Notifications
- Receiving an Exposure Notification
- Submitting a verified PIN
- Sharing a positive COVID test result
- Downloading anonymous tokens for positive users that have chosen to notify others
- Deleting the app
- Voluntarily Shared Name and Phone Number
MDHHS will use the above event information to understand how the MI COVID Alert app is being used. With the exception of voluntarily shared name and phone number, 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 can it be used to identify any MI COVID Alert app user.
OPTING OUT OF PUSH NOTIFICATIONS
If you opt-in to receive push notifications within the MI COVID Alert 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 MI COVID Alert app, changing your device settings, or changing the push notification settings within the MI COVID Alert app. However, push notifications must be enabled to receive any notice that the user may have had a past exposure to someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.
MI COVID Alert 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 MI COVID Alert app if your parent or legal guardian has reviewed and agreed to the Terms of Service on your behalf.
Compliance Office, MDHHS
333 South Grand Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933