One million Australians download Covid-19 tracer app

One million Australians download Covid-19 tracer app

More than a million Australians rushed to download an app created to help medical workers and state governments trace close contacts of Covid-19 patients, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison's approval rating soared on his pandemic response.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt thanked Australians for their actions during the pandemic, and said the app is part of the three key requirements for easing restrictions: Test, Trace and Respond.

The app, which launched on Sunday, isn't mandatory, but Tommy was quick to urge the Australian public to download it so we can "live our normal lives quicker".

The announcement comes as the Australian Government launched its own voluntary app, created to limit the spread of Covid-19 through an early notification system.

The HSE said people will have to opt-in to use the app and discussions about how it will operate are continuing with the Data Protection Commissioner.

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".

It also says the data is stored locally on users' phones and isn't sent to the government (remote server storage).

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.

Previously dubbed TraceTogether - in line with a similar app rolled out in Singapore - the coronavirus contact tracing app has been an ongoing cause of contention among the public.

"No virus, no app", Hunt said.

Labour health spokesman Chris Bowen said the app had been activated under the Biosecurity Act as an interim measure, but expects it will be legislated when parliament sits in mid-May and that will be important to assure Australians of their privacy. Health officials can use the app to notify users if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19 and they have been in contact.

Scott Morrison said the health initiative uses technology to automate and improve what state and territory health officials already do manually.

Experts have heralded the "COVIDSafe" app as a way of improving authorities' ability to track new outbreaks of the disease.

IOS devices are now unable to run the app in the same passive way as Android devices.

Despite the relative straightforwardness of how the app should work, some issues still remain.

The data includes postcodes, phone numbers, and names.

Australia has released its promised COVID-19 contact-tracing app.

COVIDSafe speeds up the contact-tracing process by several crucial days, Australia's chief medical officer Brendan Murphy explained. You're making me a dishonest woman without a shred of credibility, Pauline.

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

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