Coronavirus: Government to release COVID-19 'digital diary' app to track Kiwis' movements at alert level 2

The Government is launching a COVID-19 'digital diary' app to help Kiwis keep track of where they've been and assist in contact tracing if needed.

It follows complaints by businesses and customers they were given mixed messages on appropriate ways of recording people's contact details.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield had previously said customers didn't need to leave their details in retail settings where their visits were short and "good attention" was being paid to physical distancing.

Glenfield Mall in north Auckland was initially told it needed public registers, but then the police visited and said they couldn't do that, due to privacy issues.

There were also concerns from privacy advocates when customers could use QR code check-ins and anonymous apps like Rippl.

Michael Stace from Rights Check NZ launched a website that lists retailers others claim to be violating privacy rights.

"Being forced to provide personal information in order to walk into a shop and purchase something is absolutely outrageous," he says.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the new Government app will let people record where they've been and when, all while keeping the data to themselves.

"It is for you, it is on your device, and it is your data and your information," she said during a press conference on Monday.

The app is not compulsory to join and it will be officially released on Wednesday.