One Million Aussies Have Already Bunged The COVIDSafe App Onto Their Smartphones

Stefanovic out and about near his Mosman home

Stefanovic out and about near his Mosman home

Australia launched a coronavirus contact tracking app on Sunday, which attracted more than a million downloads in a few hours, the BBC reported.

Mr O'Brien wants to see widespread support from his electorate for the Federal Government's COVIDSafe app, which launched overnight and has more than 1.1 million registrations.

Mr Hunt also said anyone concerned about privacy could use a fake name when they registered for the app.

In this March 21 photo, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds up a card showing a new alert system for COVID-19 in Wellington, New Zealand.

'Once installed and running, the COVIDSafe app uses Bluetooth to look for other phones that also have the app installed, ' he said.

The CovidSafe 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. This data, uploaded by users, will reportedly be kept on Australian servers and destroyed when the public health situation is over. According to Stat Counter, 53.98 per cent of mobile users in Australia are using iOS, so this issue has the potential to have a significant impact on the app's ability to contact trace effectively.

"As we look ahead, this is critical to keep the virus under control", Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said on Thursday.

Prof Murphy, as well as other authorities, has tried to allay any concerns that users of COVIDSafe will have their privacy breached.

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The app does not need to be connected to the internet continuously.

The app's use of AWS has quickly raised eyebrows given the cloud giant is subject to the United States' Patriot Act and could be compelled to surrender COVIDSafe data despite it being stored on Australian soil.

If anyone using the app then tests positive, they'll be asked to download their encrypted contact log and send it to the government, where state and health authorities can then access the information and contact those who were in proximity to a coronavirus-positive person.

"The COVID-19 COVIDSafe app will assist in the contact tracing process, that laborious slow process which, together with the marvellous community response, has been implicitly responsible for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community and flattening the curve", Dr Bartone said.

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In regards to enabling location permissions, it's important to note this isn't the same as turning on location services.

Health Minister Greg Hunt lauded those who had rushed to embrace the contact-tracing technology. For example, experts could determine whether the app collects any personal user information without consent.

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