The CARE19 contact tracing app has come under scrutiny after media reports claimed it shared or sold personal data to third party companies.
Governor Doug Burgum addressed those concerns at his COVID-19 briefing Friday. He says the app is exclusively for contact tracing during the coronavirus pandemic, and helps identify users by anonymous 32 digit numbers that can be notified if they were at a location where someone infected with COVID-19 could have come in contact with them. He says the app does not require names, addresses, emails, phone numbers or any other personal identifying information.
"If you're using Facebook, or Google Maps, or Twitter, or any of the other 50 apps on your phone - they all have way more access to your information, and that's why you get targeted ads. CARE19 is probably the most secure thing you can have on your phone. For people who are saying, wow, I'm being targeted with ads - let's go back to television, when television first occured - the reason why television was free when you had the little rabbit ears on top was because you got free television if you were willing to listen to the advertising, which was as many as 13 minutes out of a 30 minute show."
Burgum says the app is an opt-in service, and the user can delete any or all data from it at any time. He also says users can delete the app from their devices as well.