On Tuesday 5th May 2020, Wodonga Mayor, Councillor Anna Speedie, voiced her concerns about the COVIDSafe app live on local radio 1494 2AY.
“Nup, not a fan…I kind of feel like we are tracked enough already,” Cr Speedie said.
Senator Jane Hume, Senator for Victoria said that while she understands some people may have concerns about downloading the voluntary app, Cr Speedie’s concerns are misplaced.
“Let’s be clear, this is not a tracking app and the privacy regulations are world class. We understand people want to protect their privacy, but the COVIDSafe app does not track a user's location,” Senator Hume said.
“By downloading the app, if you later test positive, people you’ve been in close contact with can be quickly notified before they show symptoms. That way, community infection is reduced.
“As the Prime Minister said yesterday, we need to flatten the unemployment curve. Every week of lockdown is costing $4 billion. The COVIDSafe app is a tool that will save lives, help prevent outbreaks and get our community back to normal sooner."
“I hope Cr Speedie, as a community leader, will take a closer look and then change her mind,” Senator Hume said.
Data from the COVIDSafe app is encrypted and stored securely on your phone. Not even you can access it. The information stored in people’s mobiles is deleted on a 21 day rolling cycle. This is the maximum incubation period for the virus and the time it takes for someone to be tested for COVID-1.
As of Tuesday, 5 May, 5 million Australians have downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
“If you use internet banking and trust an app with your life savings, you can trust the COVIDSafe app. It's incredibly secure with penalties of $63,000 in fines and up to 5 years in jail for misuse. The government has been quite clear around the level of work that has gone into ensuring security of the COVIDSafe app,” Senator Hume said.
“My team and I would be more than happy to assist Cr Speedie with any questions she has about the app and her privacy concerns. She's welcome to give my office a call at any time and I urge her to take a look at the wealth of information available at www.health.gov.au"
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