How ABTraceTogether works

Collection of your Information

The information you provide will be collected by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services for the purpose of conducting contact-tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic response to manage the public health emergency under the Public Health Act.

This information is collected under sections 20(b), 22(2)(a) & 27(2)(c) of the Health Information Act (HIA) and sections 33(a)&(c) & 34(1)(a)(i) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). Non-identifying information will be collected by Alberta Health for the purpose of reporting total numbers of registered users. Contact information of individuals receiving a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 will be collected for the purpose of conducting contact-tracing.

Information provided may be used by Alberta Health for health system management and planning, policy development and analysis of the public health emergency, under section 27(2)(a)(b) and (d) of the HIA. Contact information will not be used for this purpose; only your random anonymized User ID and other de-identified data will be used.

ABTraceTogether enables you to exchange non-identifying information with other users via Bluetooth; other users will not have access to any of your individually identifying information. If you receive a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, Alberta Health or Alberta Health Services will send you a code to enter into the Application. Your information will then be accessed and potentially disclosed by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services to one another, for the purpose of facilitating contact-tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with the Public Health Act, section 27(1)(a) & 27(2)(c) & 35(1)(a) of the HIA, and section 39(1)(a) & 40(1)(c) of the FOIP. For more information please see the Privacy Statement [make link].

By accepting the terms and conditions set out in this summary privacy notice, you:

  1. consent to the use and potential disclosure of your personal and health information by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services to one another in accordance with section 39(1)(b) of FOIP, and section 34 of HIA, for the purposes described above; and
  2. acknowledge that you understand why the disclosure of this information may be necessary, and the risks and benefits of consenting or refusing to consent.

This consent may be revoked at any time by emailing HiaHelpDesk@gov.ab.ca with the mobile number you registered in the Application.

If you have questions about the collection of your information, please contact Alberta Health’s HIA Help Desk, 21st Floor, ATB Place North, 10025 Jasper Avenue NW Edmonton AB, T5J 1S9, by phone at 780-427-8089 or email at HiaHelpDesk@gov.ab.ca.

ABTraceTogether privacy statement

Scope and application of this privacy statement

This Privacy Statement relates to the use of your personal information collected by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services through the ABTraceTogether Application.

In this Privacy Statement we describe what personal information is collected, how we collect it, the purposes for which we use it, how we share it and how we protect it.

The ABTraceTogether Application is intended and designed for use by Alberta residents within Alberta.

If you have questions about the collection of your information, please contact Alberta Health’s HIA Help Desk, 21st Floor, ATB Place North, 10025 Jasper Avenue NW Edmonton AB, T5J 1S9, by phone at 780-427-8089 or email at HiaHelpDesk@gov.ab.ca.

Contact-tracing with ABTraceTogether

The information you provide will be collected by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services for the purpose of conducting contact-tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic response to manage the public health emergency under the Public Health Act.

Contact-tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic is essential to inform pandemic response and combat the spread of the infection. Contact-tracing applications are important resources to complement and enhance contact tracing efforts by Alberta Health Services. Relying on individuals’ memories alone creates gaps in tracing, as the individual may not know the persons they may have exposed the virus to, and contact tracer will be unable to inform the impacted individuals. This notification is performed by Alberta Health Services contact tracing staff.

ABTraceTogether is an Application that can be downloaded voluntarily and facilitates the contact tracing process. With your consent, it exchanges a Temporary ID by Bluetooth signals with nearby phones running the same Application.

This allows you to be informed if you were in physical proximity with another Application user who becomes infected with COVID-19 and potentially exposing you to the virus. We are committed to safeguarding your privacy and ensuring you have control over your data.

Collection and use of your information

The information you provide will be collected by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services for the purpose of conducting contact-tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic response to manage the public health emergency under the Public Health Act.

This information is collected under sections 20(b), 22(2)(a) & 27(2)(c) of the Health Information Act (HIA) and sections 33(a)&(c) & 34(1)(a)(i) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). Non-identifying information will be collected by Alberta Health for the purpose of reporting total numbers of registered users. Contact information of individuals receiving a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 will be collected for the purpose of conducting contact-tracing.

Information provided may be used by Alberta Health for health system management and planning, policy development and analysis of the public health emergency, under section 27(2)(a)(b) and (d) of the HIA. Contact information will not be used for this purpose; only your random anonymized User ID and other de-identified data will be used.

ABTraceTogether enables you to exchange non-identifying information with other users via Bluetooth; other users will not have access to any of your individually identifying information. If you receive a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, Alberta Health or Alberta Health Services will send you a code to enter into the Application. Your information will then be accessed and potentially disclosed by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services to one another, for the purpose of facilitating contact-tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with the Public Health Act, section 27(1)(a) & 27(2)(c) & 35(1)(a) of the HIA, and section 39(1)(a) & 40(1)(c) of the FOIP.

If you have questions about the collection of your information, please contact Alberta Health’s HIA Help Desk, 21st Floor, ATB Place North, 10025 Jasper Avenue NW Edmonton AB, T5J 1S9, by phone at 780-427-8089 or email at HiaHelpDesk@gov.ab.ca.

Consent

By accepting the terms and conditions set out in the privacy summary when registering for the Application, you:

  1. consent to the use and potential disclosure of your personal and health information by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services to one another in accordance with section 39(1)(b) of FOIP and section 34 of HIA for the purpose of facilitating contact-tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  2. acknowledge that you understand why the disclosure of this information may be necessary, and the risks and benefits to me of consenting or refusing to consent.

This consent may be revoked at any time via the process described below.

Withdrawing Consent

You can revoke consent by emailing HiaHelpDesk@gov.ab.ca with the mobile number you registered in the application.

We will then delete your mobile number and User ID from our server. This renders all data that your phone has exchanged with other phones meaningless, because that data will no longer be associated with you.

Record Retention

The ABTraceTogether Applications maintains user contact logs for 21 days on a user’s phone.

Alberta Health Services maintains contact logs used for contact tracing uploaded from contacted users for 21 days.

Non-identifying information about Application utilization is collected by Alberta Health for reporting purposes and analytics and will be maintained for 18 months.

Summary reports and conclusions drawn from analytical assessments will be maintained in accordance with the records retention and disposition schedules of Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

Data analytics with ABTraceTogether

Alberta Health may use anonymized data collected through the use of the ABTraceTogether Application to make sure it is functioning for users who have downloaded it, understand Application adoption, support the consistent and effective use of the Application, and to better inform contact tracers on thresholds and effective public health outreach activities.

Information provided may be used for health system management and planning, policy development and public health. Contact information will not be used for this purpose, only your random anonymized User ID and other de-identified data.

None of this data is identifiable to a specific person or location, and is always stored separately from any personal information used for contact tracing, such as your phone number. Analytics information used to inform Alberta Health on Application effectiveness may include, for example: total number of users, distribution of user registrations over time, total number of contacts by user, average contacts per user, distribution of contacts across users, total unique contacts, total number of contacts that have been contacted by a health care worker, average duration of exposure with contacts, etc.

Analytics information collected to provide a better experience to application users may include: Device information (brand, category, model, OS version), and application information (application store, application version, country, language, time since installation).

Protecting your information

Alberta Health and the Government of Alberta follow industry standards for protecting information and use appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards.

Alberta Health has conducted a privacy impact assessment and a security threat risk assessment to ensure proper privacy and security protections are in place.

Ongoing cybersecurity testing is being conducted on the Application to identify and address potential security weaknesses.

In addition:

  • ABTraceTogether does not collect data about your location.
  • ABTraceTogether uses Bluetooth to approximate your distance to other phones running the same Application.
  • ABTraceTogether will only communicate with nearby phones for a limited period.
  • When you are close to another phone running ABTraceTogether, both phones use Bluetooth to exchange a Temporary ID. Phone model and Bluetooth strength are also exchanged. These will be stored on your device.
  • The Temporary ID that your phone exchanges with nearby phones is refreshed at regular intervals.
  • The Temporary ID is encrypted. It can only be decrypted by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services, and does not reveal your identity or the other person's identity.
  • If a user tests positive with COVID-19, they can provide Alberta Health Services with access to their ABTraceTogether data to facilitate contact tracing.

Limiting information collection

ABTraceTogether will only communicate with nearby phones for a limited time

We will only use ABTraceTogether for contact tracing. Once contact tracing for the COVID-19 pandemic ceases, you will be prompted to disable AB TraceTogether's functionality.

You can also disable ABTraceTogether's functionality any time by turning the app's Bluetooth permissions off or deleting the Application.

Accessing and correction your information

To access or correct your personal or health information held by Alberta Health please contact Alberta Health’s Health Information Act Help Desk at HiaHelpDesk@gov.ab.ca or (310-000 toll free) 780-427-8089.

It is your responsibility to provide accurate, correct and complete information. If you notice any errors in your personal information or need to update it, please let us know through by contacting us using the details above.

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Need help?

If you need help setting up, please email ABTraceTogether app support.

ABTraceTogetherSupport@gov.ab.ca