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Mobile Virus Tracker App May Be Mandatory | Canberra weather

ByCindy J. Daddario

Apr 17, 2020

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Cell phone tracking software could be mandatory if there aren’t enough Australians who voluntarily download the app to help find cases of coronavirus. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at least 40% of the population must use the app to make it effective. “My preference is to give the Australians a chance to get it right,” he told Triple M on Friday. “This is my Plan A and I really want Plan A to work.” Mr. Morrison compared using the tracing app to national service. “I know it would be something they wouldn’t normally do at an ordinary time, but it’s not an ordinary time,” he said. “If you download this app you will be helping to save someone’s life.” Better contact tracing is one of the top three criteria the government wants to meet before strict restrictions can be lifted. The other two are a broader testing regime and a greater capacity to respond to local outbreaks. Mr Morrison says the app will not be used by police as evidence to prosecute people for violating social distancing requirements. Australia’s deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly said his deployment would begin on a voluntary basis. This would allow contact tracers to have information immediately rather than waiting for hours or even days as they currently do. “The app would be one more piece to this puzzle and this timeliness is the crucial thing,” Professor Kelly told reporters in Canberra. Labor leader Anthony Albanese – who discovered the app in the newspaper – is worried about the possibility of being forcibly followed. “One of the things that would happen if this was the government’s response would be people would just stop picking up their phones from places,” he told reporters. “Frankly, it is up to the government to explain exactly what they have in mind with this app and to be very clear with the Australian public as to whether this will be voluntary or if it will be a certain level of constraint. “Privacy issues are addressed before an opt-in application is launched. The application is developed based on a Singaporean version, TraceTogether. It uses Bluetooth to track people who have spent 15 minutes or more at proximity to someone with coronavirus. They then share files with authorities when asked to be part of a tracing investigation. Associated Australian Press


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