Many mobile app developers with the best of intentions have rushed COVID-19 apps to Google Play and the App Store to assist with contact tracing, symptom diagnosis and outbreak maps. But in the speed to get apps that can help fight the pandemic out to the public quickly, some security and privacy vulnerabilities went undetected prior to release. Because the sensitive nature of healthcare information creates unique security and privacy challenges, I advise mobile app developers and security analysts to heed the following advice to avoid fairly common security, privacy and compliance issues.
In this dire time, the world is grasping for critical healthcare solutions to fight COVID-19. Incredible people have stepped up to leverage technology in meaningful ways to benefit humanity. The current stay-at-home orders afford app developers precious time to build innovative solutions that can help speed the return to normalcy. Thanks to our significant experience writing and testing the security of mobile applications, we’ve amassed a series of best practices that can guide the development of safe COVID-19 apps.