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:

Health.gov.au - General information
Coronavirus Australia - Apple App
Coronavirus Australia - Android App
COVIDsafe Contact Tracing app for Apple
COVIDSafe Contact Tracing app for Android

Threads:

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
Hotels.com 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)

Other:

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
    Yes.Why?
  • 251
    No. Why?
  • 2
    Other

Comments

          • +3 votes

            @Dealhunter967671: What's the concern with this app?

            • +1 vote

              @Clear: I personally don’t have any major concerns with the app after the public discourse and industry experts scrutiny (apart from the fact the keys are stored in the same AWS server as the data - should be separated in a private sovereign cloud), think it’s a good idea for people that are out and about in public for sure!

              Just not…an OZB deal…

              •  

                @Dealhunter967671: "not a deal" isn't a valid reason to neg a deal. You need to explain why it's "not a deal".

                Doesn't matter at this point though.

    • +3 votes

      Come on dude

    • +4 votes

      always free

    • -2 votes

      What is this…the fuqing project? People are beyond stupid.

    • +8 votes

      I don't think this is going to get us going back to normal.

      To do that we need to get everyone to mask up and so that social distancing can be mostly ignored as the droplets won't travel far and people won't be touching their mouthes and noses. It's really that simple… Until then the app is a placebo.

      • +2 votes

        Every country is encouraging/enforcing masks.

        Australia: Nope masks doesn't work.

        •  

          Masks are more useful in winter. Wearing masks in a hot Australian summer would be a nightmare. Cooler winter suits masks, virus also lasts longer, so it makes more sense.

          Second, in a lockdown they are less useful. As the economy opens up, masks behind more useful as there are more contacts between people.

      • +1 vote

        15 minute contact setting is going to do very little. 10 minute ride in an Uber won’t trigger this. Lots of other instances where this app will also fail. 80% placebo.

      •  

        Wow, first sensible post. Unfortunately it's on page 2.

        Australia will get back to normal when it is safe. No earlier, no later. This app has no bearing on when it will be safe. Placebo is a good way of describing it.

        I will install the app not because I believe it'll help us relax the restrictions but because I want people to be notified if they could have caught the virus.

    • +1 vote

      The best form of stopping the spread is eliminating yourselves from contact, it's a simply concept no one is following. This app isn't going to do anything

      • +1 vote

        Can you back up your claims that "no one" is isolating themselves?

    • +2 votes

      it isn't free, it's all tax payer funded to make and run the app. not a deal

    • +4 votes

      Not a deal.

    • +5 votes

      Looooooooooooooooooool

    • +5 votes

      Not a deal

    • +2 votes

      This is not a deal.

    • -1 vote

      Might be a deal for the government, getting citizens to freely give up their daily movements.

      • +9 votes

        Misinformation.
        It pings nearby bluetooth, it does not track location.

        If you have objection, back it up with substantial evidence. This is about saving lives, and you'd rather put your tinfoil hat on.

        • +3 votes

          Pretty easy to be cautious when the ISP tracking data has been breached. See: AFP raids on journalists.

        • -1 vote
          • +1 vote

            @Alex01: "Android users will have to give COVIDSafe location permissions, but this is only due to requirements Bluetooth has for running on those devices."
            Source:https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-26/coronavirus-tracing-app-covidsafe-australia-covid-19-data/12186068

            If you're curious about the actual permissions it's requesting:
            https://github.com/ghuntley/COVIDSafe_1.0.11.apk

      • +3 votes

        Look up how it works. It doesn't give up your movements

      • +4 votes

        Do you understand how the app even works?

        •  

          I don't think many of the objectors have looked into it. They seem to predominantly objecting because of headlines (lazy) or to score political points (not the time or place). All the breakdowns from experts that have looked into the code have confirmed it protects privacy as well they could have. I'm no fan or Dutton, Hunt or Morrison but they have this about as privacy safe as possible, if anything they have erred on the side of privacy over efficiency

      •  

        Ok, downloaded the iOS app, it does not ask for location permissions, so I would edit my comments but not able too. Still will be a pain to use on iOS until Bluetooth background API’s are available, and would prefer to see source code to see what exactly is sent.

        Neg removed.

      • +13 votes

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

      • +8 votes

        How about you actually understand how the app works before making bulls*it misleading remarks?

      • +6 votes

        Read (ask an adult if you need help) this feed: https://twitter.com/matthewrdev/status/1254336105203200000
        It does not record nor upload location.
        It stores all data in Australia.

      • +5 votes

        It does NOT even use location. People really need to learn before speaking. You download countless apps that use location permissions and don't bat an eye. This one doesn't use location and fools be like NO WAY.

        Go to Google Maps on your phone, go to settings and tap 'my timeline.' Take a look at the to the minute tracking of your location that has been done there. Where you've gone, what time you left, what time you arrived, your mode of transport, places you stopped along the way etc. All without you realising

        •  

          What I don't get is why they need our post code when signing up if they have our mobile number already.

      • +4 votes

        So pretty much everything you wrote is wrong.

    • +4 votes

      Not a deal

    •  

      Not a deal. Shove this app somewhere unpleasant.

    • +4 votes

      Everybody expects government responsibility towards them, now it's our responsibility towards government. Let's give back something. Less it spreads more we safe.

      • +1 vote

        When did we get government responsibility? I’m still waiting for the ‘good government starts now’ that Abbott mentioned.

    • +3 votes

      Obviously it is 'not a deal'. No duh. The point is, sometimes something is so important, that rules need to be broken.

      • -2 votes

        Yep my thoughts exactly. @scotty, please sticky this ‘deal’, remove all comments and lock the thread.

        Edited to remove ambiguity

      • +3 votes

        The point is, sometimes something is so important, that rules need to be broken

        Haha you sound like a minister somewhere justifying using this data for unintended purposes

        •  

          Is that what the decompiled source code available of the app told you?

    • +22 votes

      I'm not one for trusting the gov, hell, I don't even have the FB apps on my phone. But This is about saving lives, and besides, some of our brightest in the tech community have already taken it upon themselves to investigate the app, I 'm not going to explain all as people much smarter than me will do a better job with the links below; but TL:DR, the app is actually pretty well thought out and safe to use.
      https://twitter.com/matthewrdev/status/1254336105203200000
      https://medium.com/@LokiNetwork/covid-19-contact-tracing-get...

      •  

        Thankyou

      •  

        That Twitter thread should be mandatory reading before someone can object to the app because it's 'tracking them' or 'uploading my location to amazon'
        (Obviously requires some technical knowledge but if you don't have any maybe you should listen to those that do anyway)

      •  

        The second article sounds very reasonable, but it's made on a lot of assumptions from before this thing came out. I think it needs to be rewritten based on actual findings to be more credible.

    • +17 votes

      Too many people wearing tinfoil hats in this thread….

      • +6 votes

        It's the 5G signal I swear.

        •  

          Did you see how the protestors were getting confused between 5G and 5G wifi. You can tell when people don't do their research 😉

    • +5 votes

      This is not a deal or a bargain.

    • +3 votes

      hello SLO-MO

    • +7 votes

      I understand the intention but it shouldn't be advertised here as a bargain.

    • +2 votes

      No go zone. Until it's an opensource code and everyone has access to it, I won't trust it.

      •  

        https://www.ozbargain.com.au/comment/8628715/redir

        Go see a breakdown of the code yourself then.

      •  

        don't read the twitter thread… unpack it yourself

        •  

          Read the Twitter thread, learn how to unpack it yourself and compare*

          •  

            @Clear: Yea - my point was the people with tinfoil hats aren't going to believe a twitter thread.

            Hell - they probably stamped it with "Fail" before it even came out.

            Hell - they probably already stamped it with "Fail" when covid started…

            •  

              @blehgg: They'll be too busy filtering the fluoride out of their water to read Twitter.

      •  
        • +1 vote

          "Android users will have to give COVIDSafe location permissions, but this is only due to requirements Bluetooth has for running on those devices."
          Source:https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-26/coronavirus-tracing-app-covidsafe-australia-covid-19-data/12186068

          If you're curious about the actual permissions it's requesting:
          https://github.com/ghuntley/COVIDSafe_1.0.11.apk

    • +3 votes

      Don't think this counts as a deal

      • -2 votes

        Don't think you're going outside then

    • +1 vote

      Thanks, gonna Broden the crap out of this this 'deal'.

    • +5 votes

      You'v got to be kidding me

    • +3 votes

      sorry, but this has always been free. it belongs in the forums.

    • +9 votes

      Definitely is a deal, it will help in gettig the economy to a functional level. We're still at the outset of this whole thing, the real shit hasn't even hit the fan yet, not even half way to the fan. Also, it's only $0 cause taxpayers have funded it. Don't delude yourself thinking anything the government does is actually free. Someone, somewhere is footing the bill.

      I love how even with a global pandemic and 200k dead in 2 months and global lockdowns, people are still panicking over letting go over a perceived impact on their freedoms for a limited amount of time.

      All the while, whenever you download some random app or signup to a third-party website you barely read the T&C's and just click yes.

      It's astounding.

    • +1 vote

      Are we e downvoting the app or the "deal" ?

      I suggest to add a vote option "are you installing it" ? Yes or no?

    • +4 votes

      Not a deal.

    • +4 votes

      not appropriate

    • +2 votes

      As thy said, not a deal. If the original price of something is free, still being free is NOT a discount.

    • +3 votes

      Shopback or cashrewards?

      • +2 votes

        nope, just taxes! :D

      •  

        Officeworks price beat or nothing.

    • +3 votes

      Not a deal

    • +1 vote

      Privacy issues but even if it didn’t have any, it’s still not a deal

      • +2 votes

        How? Do you understand how the app even works?

        • +3 votes

          I'll let Alexa listen to my every (profanity) word to deliver me ads but as soon as the government wants to save lives by pinging nearby bluetooth devices…

          TOO FAR!

      • +1 vote
        •  

          Not a deal either way.
          Will have a look a bit later, thanks

          • +1 vote

            @FireRunner: "I don't understand how this works so I'll neg it".

            •  

              @Clear: My neg has been always been two-fold. It’s a normally free app, any other free app beneficial or not is not a deal

              •  

                @FireRunner: There we go now we have a reason! Mods would normally remove the "not a deal" votes in a flash but they're deciding the validity of this deal I would think.

    • +7 votes

      Don't trust the government to handle my data, have worked with them in IT

      https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/how-will-the-coronav...

      •  

        This is different.

        • +6 votes

          Yea nah.

          • -1 vote

            @Flintz: Do you understand how the app even works?

    • +6 votes

      Saving the economy when the whole world crumbles is a pretty good deal. Having this shutdown is having a great toll on it. About the app.. It doesn't track your movement. Please do some research first. It only records Bluetooth addresses of nearby phones and this information is totally useless out of Healthcare emergency contacting context. What are they practically going to do with all this data which your app collected about other nearby phones in your local grocery store once the pandemic is over? Besides that it doesn't access your phone's GPS module and doesn't ask you to log in your movements. Stay safe and think about your part in helping the country get on track to economic recovery.

      •  

        So you have seen the source code and know where the data is being kept and who will access it.