COVID-19 Tracking App Mega Discussion Thread

Mega Thread for COVID-19 App discussions (Description Updated 27/4/20)

Please use this thread for any discussions about COVID-19 app discussions, rather than making a new thread. Also see below for other specific/related threads.

Related links: - General information
Coronavirus Australia - Apple App
Coronavirus Australia - Android App
COVIDsafe Contact Tracing app for Apple
COVIDSafe Contact Tracing app for Android


COVID-19 Megathread

Wearing Masks -Wearing Masks 2 - Shops with Masks
Lockdown Activities - Lockdown Tips & Tricks - Lockdown Deals - Lockdown - Entertaining Kids - Shopping List -
Hand Sanitiser - Expired Hand Sanitisers - Cheap Sanitiser
Reporting Price Gougers - Punishing Price Gougers - Retailers & Empty Shelves - Retailers & Empty Shelves 2 - Infected Goods from China - Raising EFTPOS Limits - Amazon US Warehouse Only Re-stocking Medical & Staples - Reselling Lysol Wipes
AMA with a Doctor - Parcel Delays - Buying/Selling Home - - Gym - House Inspections - Private Health Insurance - Energy Providers
Overseas Travel - Singapore Airport Closed - QLD Border Closed - Flying to Closed Country - Flying to NZ - Flying to Tasmania Refund - 3rd Party OTA Refunds - BYOJet, Aunt Betty Changes/Refunds - Groupon Refund - Travel Insurance - Travel Insurance 2
Schools/Universities - Keeping Kids at Home - Keeping Kids at Home 2
Your Job - Work from Home Companies - Pay Cut - Qantas Staff - Tips to Protecting Yourself (Financially)


OzBargain's Guide to Self Isolation (Deals & More)
Deals for Healthcare Workers

Mod: Original Description:

… for a 'good cause'?

The Federal Government believes restrictions on the community could be eased in the months ahead if there's more testing, greater surveillance of those infected by the coronavirus and much faster tracing of those they've had contact with.

It is developing a mobile phone app with the private sector to help monitor Australians' daily interactions. The app will use the user's GPS to do so.

Edit : This is how the app will work according to the Government Services Minister :

When you download it, you will be reuquired to enter:

  • your name
  • your age range
  • your postcode
  • your phone number

He said when people were within 1.5 metres for 15 minutes, the app via Bluetooth, would record the other person's name and phone number.

"It would stay securely encrypted on your phone," Mr Robert said.
"If I was confirmed positive, my data goes up to a central data store, only to state health officials, no-one else, and then they could rapidly call anyone I had been in close contact with."

Poll Options

  • 148
  • 251
    No. Why?
  • 2


          • +4

            @FabMan: I think that's the point. If you got sick tomorrow, got tested and was positive for Covid19, you'd be interviewed about all the people you'd been in contact with. These could be people you brushed past going to/from work who then went home and infected their 85 year old parents, who subsequently die from it (maybe). The app seems harmless to me and I'd take an early exit from quarantine over fears this app is somehow out to 'get us'

            • +4

              @Oatee: And the app will will do exactly nothing for all those people that you brushed past going to work. 15 minutes your phone has to be in the vicinity of someone else’s phone to trigger a trace contact. You can be in an elevator coughing on a dozen people and this won’t trigger.

              • @Elyxar: It's better than nothing right? If you have to contact everyone you've been in touch with then this could make that job just a bit easier for the health worker doing the investigation? The more with the app the better it is, the less you have to find 'the hard way'

        • So you are a murderer WRT to meningococcal?

      • +15

        anything which helps the community get back on it's feet.

        Woolworths and Coles have both stated 1/2 price deals have been reduced due to COVID.

        More Covid = less 1/2 price deals…

        Unpack the code yourself or read from someone who already has -

        My family isn't struggling as we are essential workers - I know others that are - think of others before raising unwarranted / unstated concerns

        • Great info, thanks!

      • +2

        I agree…
        Not a deal until bigman scotty endorses it…

      • +1

        Agreed. Not a deal.

      • Best deal of the year. It’s free and gives us the best chance of life returning to normal!

      • it's free beaches and jobs and health?

        How? if the the country opens up, this app provides a more reliable form of contact tracing

        They are trying to fill the missed contact gap in the image below:

        • (You don't trust the code - but you trust someone manually provide contact tracing… ok…)

        Here's the scenario:
        - Restrictions are raised
        - You sit next to bob for 2 hours at maccas
        - Bob returns with a positive for covid in a weeks time (infectious for 2)

        Currently: Bob can only say - "I was a Maccas @ x date" - no way to contact those in contact besides "if you've been here - stay at home"

        This app: Allows you to be contacted so the can manage the spread and keep Australia - beaches, gyms, jobs open - because we only had X number of cases, instead of XXX cases cause you weren't contacted.

        More Spread = MORE RESTRICTIONS = Less Deals on Toilet paper. - Cause of hoard mentality.

        How is this NOT a deal… Toilet paper!!!

    • +40

      This is something for the forums. It's not a bargain because it's new.

      • -27

        It's not a bargain because its new… isn't the definition of a bargain.

        "a thing bought or offered for sale much more cheaply than is usual or expected." Being free you can count this as a bargain.

        • +23

          Is it much cheaper than usual = no, never been available before.
          Is it much cheaper than expected = no, this was the expected financial cost.

        • +3

          So if I release some “new” crappy mobile game that’s free, I can post it as a bargain?

          • @FireRunner: Does it have a reasonable chance of reducing infections?

            • +1

              @DisabledUser288697: My response was to the logic behind daven’s definition of a bargain.
              I’d still argue that an app that is always free whether useful/beneficial or not, is not a bargain. Seems the mods think so too

              • +1

                @FireRunner: I agree it’s not a bargain in the traditional sense of what is posted here. Just a shame it gets less visibility in the forums. But that’s because I want people to use the app, others disagree.

    • +1

      No deal

    • +20

      not a deal..

      • +2

        It helps to save life,maybe save you and your love,so it's a great deal

        • There's no guarantee that it does or doesn't… from what I've read…

    • +15

      Great deal!

      If people actually get this and we can help stop the virus from infecting and then start to return the country to a better state!

      • -3

        There's no proof that by dl the app, it will stop the virus…

        • +10

          No Proof there not either . If it helps us get back to some sort of normality its a no brainer

          • -4

            @carljen: Gravity is just a theory, do you believe when you don't wear a belt your jeans will fall down?

            You don't need to have proof for there to be sound reasoning something will happen

            • +2

              @itshammer: Well in this context you're referring to the law of gravity, not the theory part, so you're not actually comparing apples to apples.

              • +1

                @DingoBilly: It's still a theory with a lot of evidence.
                Just like tracking and isolating cases works is a theory with a lot of evidence.

        • +4

          It won''s not a vaccine. Bluetooth isn't disinfectant or UV light :)

          Its aim is to limit the spread by more accurately and quickly identifying those that have been in contact with others who have tested positive.

          Essentially using technology to try and reduce the virus's R0 factor and it's exponential growth (due to reducing spread quicker)

        • That’s not the claim….

        • it won't stop the virus - but i dont trust someone's crappy for contact tracing.

      • You mean to bring the country to a better (police/racist/surveillance) state.

    • Yeah, we should reopen everything, karen needs a haircut, make australia great again!

      • And she also want to speak to the manager.

        • +6


    • +18

      Not at all a deal

      • Of course it is . It's a great deal for the government. Free data!!

        Get real guys. You don't need an app to keep yourselves safe. Stay at home, follow the health guidelines, you should be fine!

    • +21

      Not a deal

    • +16

      Anyone with a google app (actually so many apps) is giving access to soooo much of your data, for no benefit to yourself. Why not give some access for a period of time and try to help the nation! You can delete it once we are over this.

      • +12

        for no benefit to yourself

        Free search, email, mapping etc isn't a benefit?

        • +5

          Lol don't bring reason to this party

          Anyone who has Apple is likely doing the same, just that Apple will be keeping the data more hidden

        • Not spreading a virus that could potentially be stopped by an app? Also a benefit!

      • This. Just go to the Timeline function in Google Maps you will see where you have even to everyday in the past tracked

      • +3

        Google doesn't control the police force, border security, prisons, Centrelink, etc.

        The Aus Gov, through countless (profanity) with privacy and datasharing between departments with the intent to (profanity) over people is not an entity I trust.

        This Government brought RoboDebt, this was declared "Due Force" (

        Why should I trust them?

    • -3


    • +6

      I take all my technical advice from Barnaby Joyce, so unfortunately this isnt a deal :)

      • Yeah Barnaby would likely recommend when pof, and are on special

    • +6

      this is crap and not a deal

    • +35

      After all the crap we install on our phones I'm sure we can install this.
      If it saves just one life it's worth it.
      It doesn't ask for every permission like those crappy games we all download.

      Please install this app everyone.
      Think of the money you will save on cleaning products and hand sanitizer.

      The OzBargain community is the best. Please come together on this.

      • +28

        As a programmer, I endorse this comment. Apple/Google already track our location. Mobile phone operators already track our location. If government really wanted to know our location, they could force companies to give them access to data. They didn't. Instead they are doing this transparently and giving people option to opt-in. That's how western democracy should function. We need to cooperate at least this once.

        One day, there is going to be much more lethal virus than Covid-19. We are trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. Perhaps this app works and when really lethal virus comes along, we are going to have better outcome by leveraging the technology.

        • +1

          IT Consultant here, so not the same level of understanding as lubos no doubt but a lot more than the average person. Like it's been said, you use any public service, Google, Facebook etc you're already divulging a heap of information. An app like this designed to save lives, not show people what you had for lunch or how you're working out during covid. This isn't what people should be (profanity) opposed to.

          For what it's worth I dont "trust" their management of data, but I do trust their intentions in this case. The 'risk' (I have nothing to hide) is much lower than the reward of potentially stopping an exponential infection.

          I've installed it, and recommend everyone does.

      • +2

        Think of the money you will save on cleaning products and hand sanitizer.

        This app is not an alternative for preventative measures!! And the virus isn't going away.
        This app is useful only after someone is infected - to trace some, not all, of their close, prolonged contacts. It's an administrative tool.

        If you play by the preventative rules and stay 1.5m away from others (or come closer for less than 15 minutes) you won't even be recorded by the app.

        And the other person needs the app installed to detect any close prolonged interactions. (According to yesterday's media briefing.)

        The app could have had a preventative function of warning when in close contact & again when contact is prolonged. That was not the function of this App's design - it's just to help in tracing after infection.

        It won't stop or detect transmission from touching surfaces touched by infected others! So keep up those preventative measures.

        So regularly washing hands with soap, hand sanitizer & cleaning products are just as important to use after installing this App!

        A real danger of this app is some people may think it is a preventative measure - a magical talisman that will protect them from the virus. So they will stop or reduce preventative measures that are working.

        The app's only use is after someone contracts the virus - to quickly, efficiently & effectively determine who has been close to them for more than 15 minutes & had the app installed & Bluetooth on!
        So normal contact tracing is still necessary as not all contacts & not all points of transmission will be traced!

        Install the app, but it won't magically protect you or necessarily lower the spread of the virus - unless people also maintain their use of preventative measures.

        So keep up the preventative measures & follow the rules.

    • +11

      sorry but don't see a deal.

    • +23

      Until there is an effective vaccine for this thing it is always going to be around.
      How long until that effective vaccine is developed is another thing… months or years??
      We could resume regular life now and maintain social distancing and more personal hygiene practices and see how it goes.
      Infections will need to be tracked and acted on to maintain control, this is where the app will benefit medical personnel.
      Too many silly people out there making too much noise and fearing big brother is watching them. Ignore them for once.

      • +1

        How are they going with that SARS vaccine?

        I agree with your point, but virus's can be eradicated or at least controlled without vaccines.

        • *some viruses

        • No corona virus of which SARS is one has ever had a vaccine developed for it. And corona viruses were first discovered in the 1930s. So nobody should get their hopes up that this new corona virus, the WuHu bat stew variant will ever have a vaccine.

        • stopped development as the SARS coronavirus died out

          • @matt-ozb: Not according to Russia. :p

      • I’m surprised this comment has so many upvotes considering this whole idea of “we need a vaccine” totally disregards the fact that the human body has a main line of defence against viruses; it’s called an immune system, which can be enhanced by a healthy diet that provides all the essential vitamins and minerals. Governments have locked down entire economies to save lives? Give me a break…maybe if they adopted the convention wisdom of containing those most at risk i.e. the elderly and those with existing illnesses and left everyone else to keep this economy going this whole thing would have passed already.

        • +2

          Hindsight is always 20/20. Perhaps you should think back at when this first started and they didn't know who was affected. Would you have been OK for them to take decisions like that and discover later that kids did spread it but remained asymptomatic? I think the government response has been over the top but probably exactly what was needed given the amazingly low number of deaths here..

          • @Oatee: This brings into question why there haven’t been randomised tests in countries to determine the actual infection rate for COVID-19. Sure this information must be known before imposing what appear to be draconian measures on the people in the name of public safety?

        • vitamins & minerals wont stop HIV nor COVID-19

          • @matt-ozb: COVID-19 is flu like in transmission and symptoms. Not sure how you've connected the dots to HIV…

    • +8

      Not a deal, app has always been free.

      • It is free personal monitoring and helps to lower the flocks resistance to the deterioration of their personal privacy

    • +8

      Not a deal, and until it's clearly defined how they are handling your data, do you really want to hand over all your movements to an unknown source? Look at how bad the government screwed up handling the internet metadata…

      • +4

        What have you got to hide??? Do you understand the reason for the app?
        Life has changed…

        • +13

          What have you got to hide???

          Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say

        • +10

          What have you got to hide???

          Do you draw your curtains at night?
          Do you lock your doors?
          What have you got to hide?

      • +10

        it doesn't record your movement, it's a tracing app not a tracking app. Doesn't use your GPS only your Bluetooth. Some people…

      • 100% agree. I'll be more than happy to download the app once the source code is released and reviewed.

        • +4

          Its been decompiled so job done.
          Download it now?

      • +5
        • +3

          You expect them to actually do their own research? 😂😂😂

        • +1

          When you register for COVIDSafe
          We will ask you to consent to the collection of your:
          * mobile phone number – so that you can be contacted if needed for contact tracing
          * name – so the relevant health officials can confirm they are speaking to the right person when performing contact tracing. This will be easiest if you provide your full name, but you can use a pseudonym or fake name if you prefer​
          * age range– so health officials can prioritise cases for contact tracing, if needed​​
          * postcode –to make sure health officials from the right State or Territory who work in your area can contact you, and to prioritise cases for contact tracing, e.g. hotspot areas

          mobile phone number – so that you can be contacted if needed for contact tracing

          Emergency services can see who a mobile number is registered to, you can no longer activate mobile phone numbers with BobsMyUncle like in the past.. (when you dial 000)

          Name - as above
          Postcode - as above
          Age range - as above

          Really, asking you for your consent is more a publicity thing to make you feel like you're in control

      • +1

        Do you understand how the app even works?

    • +16

      For those asking how is this a deal?

      Well, it could be saving your life or someone else’s. If that’s not the mf deal of the century, you’re doin’ it wrong

      • +3

        At least we know who in our community here isn't taking it seriously.

        • +3

          I haven’t left my house except for 3 grocery shops and a few walks around the block in 4 weeks, I’ve declined all family and friends to come over and visit, and I negged this post. I don’t think we should ever take to generalising statements like this comment.

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