Wellington's privacy-first contact tracing solution

Digital products agency PaperKite has found a solution to keep track of your whereabouts without giving away your personal information

Rippl in context

As the reality set in for the hospitality sector, about the risks involved in re-opening their venues to the public, Wellington digital agency PaperKite set about finding a solution that kept track of movements  in case of a Covid-19 outbreak, but maintained people’s privacy.

Working in collaboration with Wellington hospitality software company PosBoss, the team set about designing a simple solution to a manual pen and paper tracing system - the end result was Rippl. The solution needed not only to provide as little admin as possible for already busy staff, but provide workers with the security, that returning to customer-facing work was safe for them to do.  

"Hospitality matters. It’s part of the fabric of Wellington. It’s part of the fabric of New Zealand and it’s important that we support them to settle into a new normal,” PaperKite Managing Director Niloy Roy says.

Engaging with advice from the Ministry of Health and WorkSafe along the way, means that PaperKite continues to evolve Rippl, in line with the latest government advice on contact tracing requirements, whilst championing a privacy-first approach. 

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Hospitality matters. It’s part of the fabric of Wellington. It’s part of the fabric of New Zealand and it’s important that we support them to be able to get back to normal

PaperKite Managing Director Niloy Roy

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How it works

For venues, it’s as simple as registering your business with Rippl and printing out the QR code to have at any point of contact around your physical business.

Rather than having one code for the front door, the code can be used by suppliers, staff and customers, to check in and out of the business.

For users, the app stores the location and check in/out times of the phone in use. At no point does it ask the user to enter personal information, nor does it pass on that data to the business.

If there has been a risk that a user has been exposed to Covid-19, Rippl sends out an alert to all apps that have been used to check in to that location during the possible infection window. Only then are users asked to volunteer their information to the health authorities for contact tracing purposes.

Niloy says privacy is now an absolute necessity for any tracing-related solution.

“For us, just having a blanket policy based on good intentions that ‘we won’t use your personal details for any other purpose', isn't good enough. With Rippl’s anonymous check-in and alerting, we’re demonstrating that personal data doesn’t even need to be collected in the first place.”

Wellington City Council has announced they are adopting Rippl as their contact tracing app of choice, adopting it for council-operated venues and sponsoring initial subscriptions for Wellington businesses, to help make it easier for people and businesses to get back to work and play under Alert Levels 1 and 2.

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Working with WellingtonNZ

WellingtonNZ supports PaperKite through the Business Growth Team. PaperKite has been working with WellingtonNZ for years, with the team making introductions to key people in Wellington’s business community and finding ways to help PaperKite grow.

“It's refreshing - they’re always looking at how to connect us with opportunities and funding to help PaperKite's business thrive,” Niloy says.

How to get a free three month Rippl licence

Businesses in the Wellington city wards and suburbs can take up the Wellington City Council offer for a free three-month licence with Rippl by registering on the PaperKite website.

Sign up at paperkite.co.nz

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