State senate holds public hearing on COVID Alert Pa. contact tracing app will be released soon

Coronavirus

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — This morning the state senate held a public hearing on the contact tracing smartphone app set to be released by the Health Department this month.

It’s called COVID Alert Pa. The app will be free and voluntary.

If a person tests positive for the virus and has the app they can upload their confirmed diagnosis and then a push alert will be sent to any user who came in close contact with that person.

At today’s hearing lawmakers discussed concerns about data privacy.

“We need to ensure this is a voluntary program. And that if an individual consents in this program this mobile app they know exactly what they are consenting to,” said State Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill.

The Department of Health says the app follows Google and Apple’s privacy guidelines and that the more people who get the app the more successful they can be to help stop the spread of the virus.

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