COVID Alert SA app
Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions

COVID Alert SA App: Terms and Conditions

1.COVID Alert SA App: Terms and Conditions

2. Scope and Purpose

2.1 These Terms and Conditions govern the acquisition and use of the National Department of Health’s (the NDOH) application entitled “COVID Alert SA” (the app) by users and form an integral part thereof.

2.2 The purpose of the app is to notify users who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19, while providing protection for each user’s right to privacy as provided for in section 14(d) of the Constitution.

2.3 The provisions and safeguards in the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (Act No. 4 of 2013) have been used as a benchmark for the protection of the right to privacy.

2.4 Important: please read these Terms and Conditions of use in conjunction with the Data Protection and Privacy Policy for the app (Link: Privacy Policy). The Privacy Policy also governs and applies to your use of the app and is incorporated herein by this reference.

2.5 As explained in detail in the Privacy Policy – your privacy is protected. The app is not capable of:

2.5.1 Using your GPS location to track your location;

2.5.2 Being used by law enforcement to identify or track you;

2.5.3 Accessing personal information or data saved on your phone (i.e. your emails, messages, or phone contacts);

2.5.4 Discovering your name or address, or your health information.

2.6 The app does record the following information in an encrypted, anonymous and de-identified form:

2.6.1 How close your device is to another anonymous app user.

2.6.2The date and time of these events.

2.7 This data is kept on your phone (not on any centralised server) for 14 days. Anonymized data is uploaded and only used when notifying your positive status.

3. Conditions of access and use

3.1 The installation of the app on a mobile phone and the employment thereof is entirely voluntary for users.

3.2 By accessing the app, the user declares that he or she has understood and accepted the following terms and conditions as well as those set out in the Privacy Policy. If the user does not agree to these conditions, then the app is not to be used.

4. How the app works

4.1 The activation of Bluetooth and Exposure Notification is required for the operation of the app. The app uses Bluetooth Low Energy, in order to preserve the battery life of your mobile device.

4.2 Users are anonymously informed via the app if they have been in close contact (proximity) with a user who has tested positive for COVID-19.

4.3 Once enabled, a user’s device will regularly send out a beacon via Bluetooth that includes a random Bluetooth identifier (random ID). Basically, a string of random numbers that are not tied to a user’s identity and these random numbers change every 10-20 minutes for additional protection.

4.4 The app uses the Apple-Google Exposure Notifications framework to allow Bluetooth to estimate distance from other phones running the app. Other phones will be monitoring for these beacons and broadcasting theirs as well. When each phone receives another beacon, it will record and securely store that beacon on the device. This includes the signal strength, the date and the estimated duration of proximity.

4.5 At least once per day, the system will download a list of the keys for the beacons that have been verified as belonging to people confirmed as positive for COVID-19.

4.6 Each device will check the list of beacons it has recorded against the list downloaded from the server. If there is a match between the beacons stored on the device and the positive diagnosis list, the user will be notified and advised on steps to take next.

4.7 A match is determined based on a risk-scoring algorithm, which considers the following:

4.7.1 The random codes from the user’s device who tested positive are registered;

4.7.2 Whether the proximity between the two users is considered to be of significant risk to warrant the interaction being stored e.g. ±2 meters. Proximity is determined by signal strength;

4.7.3 Whether the duration of the close interaction is considered to be of significant risk to warrant the interaction being stored e.g. 15 minutes.

4.8 From time to time the NDoH, may revise the risk-scoring algorithm in consultation with other local and international experts.

5. Alerting others of a positive diagnosis

5.1 If you test positive for COVID-19 you can notify other users that are close contacts by notifying the App of your positive diagnoses. the CovidAlert generates a unique one time pin Code which is sent via SMS to you when you attempt to declare your positive status. you can then voluntarily share your random ID’s with the exposure notification system by clicking the link sent on SMS.

5.2 Without ever disclosing who you are, this system allows us to alert other app users that they are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 because someone they have spent time near a person that has tested positive.

5.3 What are notified users told?

5.3.1 Notified users are told that a proximity event has occurred, i.e. that they were in close contact (proximity) with someone with COVID-19, as well as the date and duration of the potential exposure.

5.3.2 They are not told who has been infected.

5.3.3 The notification also informs the user about what to do next and the resources available to them.

5.4T he app also communicates the behavioral recommendations of the NDoH. The app will only share advice. The app cannot and will not perform a medical assessment

5.5 The app does not track the user’s location or use geolocation services.

6. Users’ duties of care

6.1 Users are responsible for technical access to the app.

6.2 Users are required to take reasonable security measures to protect their own devices against unauthorised access by third parties and against malware. These steps include, but are not limited to, having a passcode to open your device, and to practice caution when downloading software onto the device (i.e. always make sure it is from a trusted source).

6.3 The user’s attention is hereby drawn to the security risks associated with use of the internet and of internet technologies.

6.4 Users are required to keep the app updated. There is no entitlement to use a specific version of the software.

6.5 Users are required to check any data they enter for completeness and correctness.

6.6 When using the app, users are responsible for complying with any applicable legal provisions and these Terms and Conditions.

7. Liability and warranty

7.1 While the NDoH, Discovery Limited, Apple and Google (the developer) takes every care to ensure the correctness of the information, content and communications published in the app, the developer makes no warranty as to the correctness, accuracy, currency, reliability or completeness thereof.

7.2 The developer expressly reserves the right, at any time, without prior notice, (partly or completely) to alter, delete, or refrain from publishing information and content.

7.3 To the extent permitted by law, any claims for liability against the developer for damage, including material, immaterial or consequential damage arising from using the app are waived by the user. These include damage caused, for example: by access to, use or non-use of the app and the associated information, content and communications; from misuse of the connection, from technical faults; or from infringement of the user’s duties of care.

7.4 The user is responsible for and assumes the risk of any action or behavior undertaken on account of information, content or communications in the app, e.g. self-isolation/quarantine. To the extent permitted by law, the developer will not be liable under any circumstances for any resultant damage.

7.5 The developer assumes no responsibility and makes no warranty that the functions and use of the app will be permanently and continuously available and free of errors or faults, that errors will be rectified, or that the servers will be free of viruses or other harmful elements.

7.6 The developer is entitled to interrupt or discontinue use of the app at any time.

7.7 The app may contain links to other websites that are not operated by us. If you click on a third-party link, you will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit. We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third-party sites or services.

8.Data protection

8.1 Every person has the right to privacy and to be protected against misuse of their personal data. Personal data and information is only requested where necessary and is treated in strict confidence and in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

8.2 In close collaboration with its service providers, the developer makes every effort to protect data against unauthorised access, loss, misuse or falsification.

8.3 The processing of personal data by the developer is governed by the app’s Privacy Policy, which you can access [here].

9.Termination of use

9.1 Use of the app can be terminated by the user at any time by deleting/uninstalling it from the mobile phone.

9.2 If the app is no longer required, or proves inadequate, to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDoH may terminate or deactivate the app.

9.3 At the latest when the national state of disaster due to COVID-19 is no longer in force, the NDoH will deactivate the app and request users to uninstall it from their mobile phones.

10.Copyright, property rights and rights of use

10.1 Apple and Google have granted the NDoH a license to use Tools, API’s and Frameworks. Apple and Google retain all of the IP related to their software.

10.2 All copyright in the app is held by the NDoH. All copyright for the implementation of the Google/Apple API, including the risk scoring algorithm, as well as the screen designs and flows are held by the NDoH.

10.3 The information and content is made accessible to the public. The content published in the app by the developer is for personal use only. Any further reproduction or passing-on of content to third parties, without prior written permission, is not permissible. The downloading or copying of content, or other files does not result in any transfer of rights as regards the content.

10.4 Copyright and any other rights relating to content, images, photos or other files in this app are held exclusively by the developer or the specially designated rights holders. For the reproduction of any elements whatsoever, written consent is to be obtained in advance from the copyright holders.


11.1 In order to minimise the possibility of false positive matches, we suggest that you switch off contract tracing when:

11.1.1 You are fully protected from customers or colleagues by a physical barrier (i.e. such as using PPE, or working behind Perspex or glass screens);

11.1.2 Your phone is placed in a locker or equivalent storage facility.

12. Final provisions

12.1 Use of the app is free of charge for users. Any costs arising for network access to enable use of the app are borne by the user.

12.2 The developer reserves the right to amend or add to these Terms and Conditions at any time. The new conditions will be communicated to users through the app.

12.3 Should one provision of the Terms and Conditions be invalid or inoperative, the other provisions thereof shall not be affected.

12.4 The parties agree that South African Law will apply to this agreement.

12.5 The place of performance of the agreement between the developer and the user is South Africa.