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Australia’s contact tracing COVID-19 App

Scott Morrison says consent will be key, indicating the app won’t be mandatory, but it could play a part in easing Covid-19 restrictions

COVID-19 App before release

Ep 1 – Australia’s COVID-19 App

The Australian government is planning to launch an app in a matter of weeks that will trace every person who has been in contact with a mobile phone owner who has tested positive for coronavirus in the previous few weeks, in a bid to automate coronavirus contact tracing, and allow the easing of restrictions.

Very soon, Austalia will get its very own Corona Virus tracking app. There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding how the app will work and the privacy associated with the app.

Google and Apple have teamed up to give contact-tracers the ingredients to make that system possible, while in theory still preserving the privacy of those who use it. The two companies announced a rare joint project to create the groundwork for Bluetooth-based contact-tracing apps that can work across both iOS and Android phones.

The contact tracing framework will be deployed as an update to Google Play Services on Android, and as an iOS software update for Apple devices. Apple has said it wants to make the technology available to as many people as possible, or at least every active Apple device that has the appropriate Bluetooth stack. This implies Apple will be releasing OS updates to at least iOS 13 and iOS 12.

In addition to the privacy provisions, the feature will be opt-in. The operating system will prompt users if they want to participate in contact tracing. Users will also need to download the respective public health app for their region. This app will collate the anonymous Bluetooth identifiers and can push alerts if a COVID-19 positive case is tracked nearby

Details

  • Date: April 26 2020
  • Guests: Federal Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert and Austcyber CEO Michelle Price.
  • Website: health.gov.au