Australia launches COVID-19 tracing app

The Australian Government launched the new voluntary app COVIDSafe as part of the plan to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Under the Biosecurity Act, the Ministry of Health will ensure that information provided voluntarily through the app will only be accessible by authorised officials. Users need to allow the app to run in the background, but phones do not need to be unlocked for the app to work. When a user has a contact with an individual who is diagnosed with COVID-19, their phone will make a digital handshake, which logs the date, time, distance, and duration of the contact. The information collected by the app is encrypted and stored in the user’s phone. BBC News reported that the app has been downloaded by one million Australians within a few hours of the announcement.