Australia’s COVIDSafe contact tracing app hits 1 million downloads on first day of launch
The Australian government said the app data will only be used by health officials and won’t be available to police and state or federal agencies.
Australia's contact-tracing app 'COVIDSafe' crossed 1 million downloads on the first day of its launch. The application was made available late Sunday in a bid to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to reports, Australia's COVIDSafe saw about 1.13 million downloads in the first 12 hours of the availability. The country has about 26 million population.
The contact-tracing app is very similar to Singapore's TraceTogether application. Apart Australia and Sinagpore, India also has Aarogya Setu contact tracing app which has hit 75 million downloads. Separately, Apple and Google are also working on contact-tracing solutions for better monitoring of the virus spread.
On how many people need to download the app, Australia's Health Minister Greg Hunt said, "As many as possible is our real goal. It is about assisting our disease experts find people who might have been exposed and we are well ahead of our best hopes and expectations already."
That said, there have been privacy concerns around the contact-tracing apps. The Australian officials have promised to release the app's source code within two weeks allowing analysts to better understand the mechanism of the app and privacy features, reports PTI.
Ahead of the launch of the app, the Australian government said the app data will only be used by health officials and won't be available to police or other federal agencies. It also said the data is securely encrypted on users' device.
"Unless and until a person is diagnosed with Covid-19, no contact information collected in the app is disclosed or able to be accessed," Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert. "Once the person agrees and uploads the data, only the relevant state or territory public health officials will have access to information."