Several days ago, the Australian Government’s ‘COVIDSafe’ contact-tracing app was released.
Two main questions arise: will it work, and is it trustworthy? The Government has stated that at least 40% of the population will need to use it for it to be effective, and Oxford experts suggest that number is 60% , so these questions are closely linked.
“One reason why people might choose not to install the app is a deficit of trust,” said Alex Jago, Secretary of Pirate Party Australia. “Unfortunately, the Government has a long history of trading away privacy and information security. Asking people to self-surveil on top of that is a step too far for many.”
Examples of how the Government has consistently acted against privacy are plentiful . Metadata retention (2015) and the “Assistance and Access” Act (2018) are simply two of the more objectionable.
“In the past fortnight, there were some particularly farcical moments when several MPs announced they would not be using the app, citing privacy concerns,” continued Alex. “Given past voting records, we can only hope this represents a permanent change of heart.”