COVIDSafe App Launched
Sunday, 26th April 2020
Today, Minister for Health Greg Hunt and the Chief Medical Officer released The COVIDSafe app, which will help keep you, your family and your community safe from further spread of coronavirus through early notification of possible exposure.
The COVIDSafe app is just one of the tools we will use to help protect the health of the community by quickly alerting people who may be at risk of having contact with the virus. The use of the app will help us to move more quickly to reduce restrictions than would otherwise be possible.
Without the assistance of technology, finding people who may have been exposed to the virus relies on people being able to recall who they have been around and knowing the details of every individual they have been in close contact with. In many cases, we don’t know the names and contact details of those we’ve been in close contact with (for example, at the supermarket or on the train).
COVIDSafe app uses technology to make this process faster and more accurate and has been developed to ensure your information and privacy is strictly protected.
Collection and use of information from the app is consent based and consistent with the Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles. To further strengthen the app’s privacy arrangements the Health Minister made a Determination under the Biosecurity Act to protect people’s privacy and restrict access to app data to state and territory health authorities for contact tracing.
Under that Determination, it will be a criminal offence to use any app data in any other way. It will also be a criminal offence for someone to be refused to enter a premises, participate in an event or receive a service for failing to use the app.
At the end of the Australian pandemic, users will be prompted to delete the app from their phone. This will delete all app information on a person’s phone. The information contained on the highly secure information storage system will also be destroyed at the end of the pandemic.