COVIDSafe App – a message from CEO Luke Williamson

COVIDSafe App – a message from CEO Luke Williamson

Earlier this week I attended a briefing with the Commonwealth Department of Health on the new COVID-19 Safe App. It gave me the opportunity to hear how the technology works and data is (and is not) captured, and to understand the physical and legal protections that have been put in place to protect the privacy of people who download the application. I subsequently took time to research the details and to listen to informed views.

I concluded that downloading the application is a safe and responsible thing to do. I downloaded it and installed it yesterday.  I encourage everyone to consider doing the same.

You can also read information about the App on the Government website: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covidsafe-app

Luke Williamson

CEO


A few keys details:

The app has been designed to undertake ‘contact tracing’ – to identify when individuals come into contact those who have or are later diagnosed as COVID-19 positive.

It is voluntary to download and cannot be required by employers or other parties and it cannot be used for any other purposes than contact tracing.  For example, it cannot be used to enforce quarantine or isolation restrictions, or any other laws.  You can uninstall it at any time and this will delete all app information from your phone.

You can choose whether to agree to share any of the information collected by the app.  The information is all encrypted.

If you have the app installed and Bluetooth enabled, when you are out and about, if you come into contact (spend a period of time) in close proximity to someone else who also has the app, then the app on your phone will collect information about the contact you have had such as the date, time, distance and duration of the contact and the other user’s reference code.  It does not collect your location. It was described in the meeting as a Bluetooth handshake (quite possibly the safest handshake we can have at the moment).

If you choose to allow access to the information your state and territory health authorities are only permitted to use this for contact tracing.  You can read more about the COVIDSafe Privacy Policy here: https://www.health.gov.au/using-our-websites/privacy/privacy-policy-for-covidsafe-app

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