In the fight against COVID-19, it has become necessary for the world to practice social distancing. The governments of several countries are trying their best to provide accurate information to their citizens via apps and websites. The 'COVIDSafe app' is the new Coronavirus Tracker app launched by the Australian government to contain the expanse of Coronavirus pandemic in the country. The app promises the users to provide detailed information and also assists them to self-track themselves if they have come in contact with any COVID-19 positive patient.
The COVIDSafe app is an initiative taken by the Australian government to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The Coronavirus tracker app tracks the movements of the user daily to ensure if they have come in contact with any positive patient. This not only helps the government to react quickly but it also helps the user to stay safe and distant from any positive patient before contracting the virus. This also reduces the chances of any new positive patient from passing on the virus to their family, friends. and other people in the community.
When a user downloads the COVIDSafe app, they are asked to provide their name, mobile number, and postcode and what age group they belong to. Once the process is over, the user receives a confirmation SMS text message to complete the installation. As the process of verification and signing up is completed, the system then creates a unique encrypted reference code just for the user.
When two people having the COVIDSafe app installed in their smartphone come in contact with each other, the app recognises another user and it notes down the date, time, distance and duration of the contact and also the other user’s reference code. However, the Coronavirus tracker app does not collect the location data of the user as per the reports.
A user should have the COVIDSafe app running as they go out and come into contact with people for it to be more effective. The Australian government has assured all the users that the information is encrypted and the encrypted identifier is stored securely in the phone which is not even accessed by the smartphone user as well. The contact information stored in people’s mobiles is deleted on a 21-day rolling cycle. This period takes into account the COVID-19 incubation period and the time it takes to get tested.
The Australian Government has also declared that it will notify the people to delete the COVIDsafe app once the Coronavirus pandemic is over. It also said that all the data will be deleted once the pandemic is over as well. The government mentioned that the officials and health officials can access the data only if a user has come in contact with a positive patient between the 21-day rollout process.