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University of Hawaii Implements Mandatory Phone Geotracker’s on Employees, Students and Visitors

by Thunda

“In the name of COVID-19!” COVID has caused some major changes to our day to day lives. Some of these changes have upset members of the public. From social distancing rules, stay-at-home orders and gathering restrictions to mandatory mask use in public. Most recently on our smart phones, a COVID Health App was downloaded into our phones, unannounced, to anyone who does not read the download notes. However, the app is still optional to use or not. Today, the University of Hawaii went live with its own version of this app, the new Lumisight UH App, in the name of COVID-19!

What is the Lumisight app you may ask?  Lumisight is an app, mandatory to be downloaded by all faculty, staff, students and even visitors, who wish to enter any of the school’s statewide campuses, including the University’s offsite locations. Faculty, staff, and students will use their current user ID to log-in. Visitors will have to create their own account on the mobile app or website. After registering, users will be asked a few questions to set up their profile. Responses may be changed at any time after initially setting up their profile. Questions include campus affiliation, and whether they are studying or working solely online.

The app requires the person to disclose personal information for creating an account, and also, current medical information with a number of questions about their present medical conditions before entering the campus. Questions are said to be related to possible COVID exposure.

“Review the list of symptoms and possible exposure to COVID-19 in the app, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and the app will indicate if you are cleared to come to campus.” UH Vice President for Information Technology/Chief Information Officer, Garret Yoshimi, said in a message to UH ‘s 10 campuses.

These “Health Checks” will be required daily before employees, students or visitors come to the UH locations, so some will have to check-in before they even leave home

Information collected is confidential and restricted to the campus’ COVID-19 response leads, and those responsible for the campus COVID-19 programs that support students and health services operations.

Seems like not that big of a deal, right? But wait … its 2020! And if the year had a slogan it would be … “But wait there’s more!” The app will also have a Geotracker on it to create a Geo-fence around the University’s location. So, in basic terms … a location tracker. They will be able to track your every move at any time. The App uses cellular data and push notifications when the device comes into close proximity to a cell tower for your cellular service provider that is located a UH campus or location. Yes! You read that right! The University will use your personal data to track you

The real question remains … Is this allowed? How long till other employers and/or businesses start to require you to download their apps to utilize their service? Will Target, Walmart, Home Depot require you to answer a questionnaire before entering their stores? Will your employer require you to download an app with a Geotracker as a condition of employment?

And all this at your personal expense of phone service, home internet service, and most of all your personal privacy. All in the name or under the name of COVID-19!

In an email from Rachel Solemsaas Chancellor of Hawaii Community College in Hilo to concerned workers about privacy issues, possible HIPPA violations and Union consultation. She stated “Unions have been consulted. The use of the app is mandatory and required.”

A representative of UPW went on to inform the concerned members “No, members are not required to perform the daily check-in through LumiSight at this time.  Like I mentioned in my previous email, this consultation has not been completed.  There are several concerns that must be addressed prior to a final response being submitted.  As you can see by the attachments that were included in the previous email, the University has submitted interim guidelines… they’re not final… they’re not complete… and this is all because they have not received a response from the union(s). 
Through consultation, members have the ability to voice concerns and seek clarification on the Employers proposal to implement new policies and/or practices – that is why I sent over the attachments… for everyone to have the opportunity to review and provide input.  From there, I will forward the information to Michele Hebblethwaite and the Union will continue to work with the Employer to address any and all concerns affected members might have before finalizing.”  

We received no response when inquiring with other Unions whose members are affected by the new policy. As of press time.

More info on the policy in the link below.

https://www.hawaii.edu/news/email/events/dailyapp.html

Access is also available on the web at UH.Campus.lumisight.com for those without access to a smartphone or tablet, or those who prefer not to download the mobile app.

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