HSE'S Covid-19 tracker app has been deleted by 86,000 people

HSE'S Covid-19 tracker app has been deleted by 86,000 people
10% of Android users of the HSE's Covid-19 app have uninstalled it. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

10% of Android users of the HSE's Covid-19 tracker app have since deleted it, the Irish Examiner has learned.

That's a blow to the HSE, which said 1.56m people have downloaded the app since it launched, 600,000 short of its 2.2m target. 86,000 Android users have deleted the application since its launch, the HSE confirmed. 

Android phones, which represent roughly 40% of Ireland's smartphone market, have been used to download the Covid-19 tracker app 780,000 times, so roughly 11% of those have since uninstalled it.

The HSE  does not have figures for the number of Apple users who have deleted the app.

It is a further headache for the HSE, which has, in recent days, been inundated with Android users claiming the app has drained battery life and caused devices to overheat

The HSE, responding to people on social media, said it is working with Google to "identify and fix the issue".

When asked what proportion of users are opening the app daily, a spokesperson said such data is not captured, “in order to protect the privacy of the people using this app”. 

This appears at odds with the app’s own data-protection impact assessment, which states its measured metrics include the number of people that open the app at least once a day, to “provide early warning of lowering active use”.

Meanwhile, 129 people out of 137 who have been informed by the app that they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of the virus, up to July 30, have reacted to that notification, the HSE said.

It said 206 close-contact alerts have been sent by the app, to date, on foot of 82 people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

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