Coronavirus app is ‘less invasive than google maps’, says Gladys Berejiklian as she urges Aussies to sign up despite privacy concerns
- The federal government’s is launching a coronavius contact tracing app
- Concerns have been raised the app may be used by police to spy on people
- The government said it will move to ban police from accessing its data
- Gladys Berejiklian said today the app is ‘less invasive’ than google maps
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The federal government’s upcoming coronavius contact tracing app is ‘less invasive than google maps,’ New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today.
The app, due to be rolled out next week, will record the Bluetooth connections a phone makes with others to identify someone’s contacts if they catch the virus.
Concerns have been raised the app may be used to spy on people, prompting the government to ban police from accessing its data.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) has urged all residents with coronavirus symptoms to get tested
But Ms Berejiklian soothed those concerns, saying the app does not track people’s location.
‘The most specific thing you have to put in is your postcode,’ she told KISS FM.
‘I’ve taken a look at it and it’s not that invasive. It’s far less invasive than buying something over the internet or going on google maps.’
The Premier added: ‘People are worried about their privacy but when it’s life and death you kind of have to forgo a little bit of privacy.’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday confirmed that Commonwealth government will not have access to the data.
Users of the TraceTogether app (pictured), which is now being developed in Australia, uses Bluetooth technology to track people
How will contact tracing app work?
The app will be similar to the trace app rolled out in Singapore, PM Scott Morrison said.
Singapore’s TraceTogether app uses Bluetooth on mobile phones to link up with other phones nearby.
It is then able to track when two people are in close proximity with one another, providing times, dates and locations.
If officials then need to call upon this data, they can determine a person’s close contacts based on the proximity to another person and the length of time spent with them.
Mr Morrison said: ‘The trace app which has been put in place in Singapore is a consent based model and the reason we are not quite ready yet is we are still working through ensuring that it meets the privacy protections.
‘It is a complex area, but it is a tool that Australia will need to pursue the road out of this that we would like to pursue.’
He said: ‘The information that is collected from that app goes into a national data store that is fully encrypted and the Commonwealth government has no access whatsoever to the information into that data store. None. Zero. Zip. Nothing.’
Earlier this week government Services Minister Stuart Robert said the app will not collect data on a person’s location.
He said: ‘All it will tell me is that you and I were in, for 15 minutes or more, 1.5 metres in proximity to each other.
‘It won’t tell us where, because that’s irrelevant, or what you’re doing. We don’t care where you are or what you’re doing.’
Mr Robert explained that the data would stay on someone’s phone and would only be sent to health officials if they tested positive for coronavirus.
The app, due to be rolled out next week, will record the Bluetooth connections a phone makes with others to identify someone’s contacts if they catch the virus. Pictured: Mock-up photo