Over 1 million Australians have downloaded the government’s app to fight COVID-19. The application designed as a track and trace mechanism and to assist in monitoring the spread of the disease was made available for download Sunday evening.
Australia’s chief medical officer pleaded with Australians to download the app to help medical professionals, who are already overworked due to COVID-19, to make their job easier. The government and the chief medical officer stated that downloading the app and using it is all voluntary; nobody is forced to do it.
Greg Hunt, Minister for Health, says that users can refuse to give access to their data if they choose to at any point in time.
The government is using privacy and security choices such as data is deleted after 21 days, open-source code, servers are in Australia.
For the application to work, a person first voluntarily downloads the app, and then when tested, voluntarily uploads the information that they have been tested positive for COVID-19. The data from the infected person’s app is then used to trace and see who else they have been near, who also has the app. The app does not trace where they have been.