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Contact tracing while maintaining citizen privacy

COVID-19 Challenge

Ensuring a safer return to a new normal

The pandemic has shown that our familiar environment can change drastically overnight. Thankfully, some countries have begun to recover and are carefully exiting isolation.

As restrictive measures loosen, it becomes the responsibility of everyone to be mindful of their surroundings and prevent the second wave of infection. Contact tracing is an effective prevention method but doing so without disrupting the privacy of citizens is a challenge.


A design for a contact tracing process that respects privacy has been created with the help of UiPath, Ernst and Young (EY), and Upwire in New Zealand. Any business can register on a secure website to generate a QR code. The QR code then allows customers visiting the business to scan the code and register their presence. The system captures the customer's info—the minimum amount to secure privacy. After scanning it, an SMS is sent to the contact tracing team with the mobile number, plus date and time of the visit. The team can then verify the secure database of confirmed COVID-19 infected patients, and track the geolocations visited.