© Provided by Daily Mail The Australian Government's new voluntary coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is seen on a mobile phone in Melbourne The government hopes a broader testing regime and the contact tracing app will lead to a relaxation of the economic shutdown sooner.
As at 10.30pm, "1 million Australians have now downloaded and registered", federal Health Minister Greg Hunt tweeted yesterday.
When asked how many people need to download the app for it to be successful, Hunt said "there is no magic number".
"The Government will work with Google and Apple to investigate whether the new functionality announced by Google and Apple partnership is beneficial for the app performance", a spokesperson for minister for government services, Stuart Robert, said in a statement.
Australian Nobel laureate and immunologist Peter Doherty will be signing up for it, saying "anything that helps us wrestle Covid-19 to the ground is a plus".
Using a phone's Bluetooth, the app is created to identify users who spend more than 15 minutes within 1.5 metres of each other.
If a user's data has been uploaded, it can also be deleted (either by themselves or a confirmed case who has come into contact with them) via a Health web request form.
A few countries, including South Korea and Israel, are using high-tech methods of contact tracing which involves tracking people's location via phone networks, though such centralised, surveillance-based approaches are viewed as invasive and unacceptable in many countries.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said social restrictions could be eased if enough people use the app.
And when Stefanovic suggested that Hanson would want to download the app out of a sense of duty to the community and country, she buckled down. The app's stored contact data will enable health officials to trace people potentially exposed to infections.
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The app does not need to be connected to the internet continuously.
'No other government agency can use this information, no one in the commonwealth government at all, and in state authorities, only the health officer can use it, ' he said.
Photo taken on April 26, 2020 shows the COVIDSafe app on a smartphone in Canberra, Australia.
Also, iPhone users must have the app open (in the foreground) for Bluetooth functionality to work.
This compares to Australia Institute research showing 45 per cent of Australians planned to download and use the mobile app, while 28 per cent said they wouldn't.
The storage of contact data (including names, phone numbers and postcodes) beyond a device makes it theoretically possible to abuse that info, or for an intruder to access it.
"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. Then, once the person agrees and uploads the data, only the relevant state or territory public health officials will have access to information.
"I'm glad Tommy you said that".
That said, only time will reveal the extent to which Australians embrace this new contact tracing technology. For example, experts could determine whether the app collects any personal user information without consent.