Australia launched a coronavirus contact tracking app on Sunday, attracting more than a million downloads within hours, reported the BBC. COVIDSafe allows devices to perform a “digital handshake” when they are within 5 feet of each other, informing users if they come into contact for more than 15 minutes with an infected person .
The Australian voluntary application is based on TraceTogether software from Singapore and uses Bluetooth and stored contact data, Reuters reported. The government says the app does not collect location data and that an infected person must consent to their data being shared.
The Australian government has stated that only health authorities will have access to the data stored on its application and that it would not be legally possible for other authorities to access the data.
Apple and Google announced a framework earlier this month to develop decentralized contact tracking applications. The information would be anonymized and the companies undertook to deactivate the service once the virus epidemic was contained. No country has yet signed up to use this specific framework. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri lobbied for the CEOs of the companies will be personally responsible for the data collected within the framework of the project.
Germany said on Sunday that it is changing course with the development of its contact tracking application, which will now use a decentralized architecture more in line with the approach adopted by Apple and Google, Reuters reported.