LeaveHomeSafe has completed its historical mission, says technology minister

Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Sun Dong said on Saturday that Hong Kong’s Covid-19 contact tracing app LeaveHomeSafe has completed its historical mission, and citizens can decide on their own if they want to keep the app on their smartphones or not. 

After dropping the app mandate of scanning venues’ QR code before entry since December 14 last year, the government also announced that telephone hotline and support stations at 25 MTR stations will cease operation starting tomorrow (Sun). 

According to Cap 599D Prevention and Control of Disease (Disclosure of Information) Regulation, the Department of Health has the power to request a confirmed patient or a preliminary Covid-positive patient to upload his or her LeaveHomeSafe visit records to government’s system, alongside other personal information including name and phone number. 

The app’s personal information collection statement also said the records uploaded via the app can be kept by the department for at least seven years. 

Replying to media inquiries on the handling of records, the department said it has informed the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer to delete past records uploaded onto the system, and the work has been completed already. 

The department added all works on tracing Covid close contacts have stopped, and the department will no longer ask confirmed patients to upload their visit records.