For when a COVIDSafe just wasn’t enough.


The Problem

From 11.59pm 31 May 2020, businesses have begun to reopen their doors to the public for sit-down dining.

Please consider your own recent experiences dining-out. Reflect on how you health and safety while enjoying your newfound freedom:

  • Were you prompted to provide your information? Or did you have to ask?
  • What technology was being used to capture your data?
  • Was the visitor register kept in a public place? Or kept behind the counter?
  • What payment methodologies were available?
  • Did you feel safe based on the protective measures in place at this venue?

I would be willing to wager that you have experienced some concern at the level of preparedness on display at some venues whether it be due to inadequate social distancing, shared utensils and surfaces not regularly cleaned or your personal details being on display for the world to see.

This should come at no surprise – cafes, bars and restaurants have never had to prepare for anything like the Coronavirus before!

For the rest of this post, I will be discussing personal data collection. As part of deal to reopen to dine-in customers, cafes, bars and restaurants are required to collect the name and phone number of all customers and store that data securely for 28 days.

Now that I have started venturing out into the world again and visiting local businesses in my area, it has become apparent that many are ill-equipped for the safe handling and storage of customers’ personal data. The most common method of data collection I have been seeing around my local area is self-reported, paper-based registration that is left in the open, accessible to all customers.

This can lead to numerous potential issues:

  • Many hands – one pen
    That shared pen is being touched by an awful lot of people
  • Loss of data improperly stored
    Someone may accidentally throw out the day’s registrations
  • Inappropriate access to data
    A staff member may use the details to contact a customer unsolicited
  • Improper use of data for marketing
    A business might place customers on a mailing list without their permission
  • Data compromised to a malicious third-party
    The paper register may be photographed, stolen or copied

All of these issues can be solved simply with a secure, digital application.

The Solution

I understand the time pressures that local businesses are currently under. To assist our community in getting back on track during the COVID-19 recovery, I would like to offer a free and open-source solution that ensures improved trust and compliance from customers.

CovidVault is a one-size-fits-all approach to data acquisition for the purposes of contact tracing. It includes the following features:

  • Free
    This is a free and open-source project. I have developed this project solely to assist Australian businesses during the coronavirus recovery
  • Your business’ identity is prevalent
    Company branding is on-show so that customers know they are supplying their details to the correct business
  • Limited data collected
    Customers can have faith that you are only collecting the data mandated by the Victorian Government
  • Automated data destruction
    Customers can rest-assured that their data will only be held for the mandated 28 days
  • Ease of access
    Businesses will be provided with a simple shortlink (eg: and a QR code that can be printed and displayed for customers ease-of-access
  • Authorised contacts
    Data can only be accessed by the nominated authorised contact and will not be released to any other individuals. This data will only be released in the event of an outbreak that includes a customer at your place of business. Fingers are crossed that we will never need access to this data.
  • Open source
    The source code is open to enable best-practice code and security
  • Manual entry
    Should there also be some paper-based entries, these can be entered in bulk within the account dashboard meaning all those paper-based records can be destroyed once they have been digitised
  • Upcoming features
    New features are being added including the opportunity to provide a marketing link displayed upon visitors completing the check-in process
Example QR Code

I have set up a live demo page of what the check-in system looks like for customers:

This is not-for-profit. I am doing this as a way of helping the local community during this tough time in the way that I can. If you are a business owner or would like to share this service with a local business, please direct them to the registration page. It only takes seconds to set up and start collecting customer details in a safer, more secure way.

If you are a PHP or React developer and would like to review or contribute to the application development, please check out the project GitHub:

Because this is an open-source project, custom deployment of the application can be deployed to a custom website or even locally to be accessed via a WiFi connection.

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