The federal government has launched the COVID-19 tracing app.
The federal government’s coronavirus app to help trace people who come into contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus will be launched nationally tonight, Sunday April 26, from 6pm.
In a press conference on Sunday afternoon, health minister Greg Hunt and the chief medical officer Brendan Murphy launched the tracing app, called COVIDSafe.
“How does it work? Very simply,” Greg Hunt said.
“Download the app and subsequently register from 6pm today. You then have your app open and it provides a Bluetooth handshake and it sits on your phone in terms of the data, that is encrypted. No one has access to that, not even yourself, no commonwealth officials,” he explained.
“If you are diagnosed then you already have voluntary consent for downloading the app but you are asked a second time. Only a state public health official can be given access to that data, and only after you have then consented for a second time.
“Your details of who you have been in contact with for more than 15 minutes, with less than 1.5m distance, will then be provided.”
There are only four things users are required to provide: your phone number, your name (or a pseudonym), your age range and your postcode.
Tony Bartone, head of the Australian Medical Association, assured Australians: “It can be deleted at any time by anyone who downloads the app and indeed the information will be deleted at the end of the COVID-19 period.”
Greg Hunt said COVIDSafe is now available in the Google store and will be on the Apple store soon.
The Australian app is based on Singapore’s TraceTogether software, which records the Bluetooth connections a phone makes with others so the user can give that data to state health authorities if they catch the virus.