Responding a query from iTWire, the DTA said: "No COVIDSafe information will be stored in Global Switch facilities", with the reference being to a company that is fully owned by a Chinese group and one of the centres where Amazon Web Services", the company that was awarded the contract, stores data.
As reported on Wednesday, Labor MP Ed Husic had said AWS was storing data in a Global Switch data centre, adding that the Australian Signals Directorate was also concerned about this aspect of AWS' functioning in Australia.
The Department of Home Affairs, which handled the initial stages of the tender, that was limited to AWS, has been pushing other government departments to move their data from the same centre before September.
"This aligns with the guidance in the Australian Government Information Security Manual."
Prior to this, Home Affairs responded to a query from iTWire, saying, "The development and hosting arrangement for the ‘COVIDSafe’ application is led by the Digital Transformation Agency and the Department of Health. The hosting arrangements for the application is a matter for the DTA."
No reason has been given why no Australian company was asked to tender for the hosting when there are three companies who meet the same standards as AWS does: Vault, Macquarie Government and Sliced Tech.
The award comes at a time when Australia has been at loggerheads with China over a number of things, one being the origin of the coronavirus that has caused a pandemic.
The others are named as follows: SYD1: Equinix SYD3 in Alexandria. SYD4: Global Switch Ultimo. SYD5: Fujitsu Western Sydney Datacentre. SYD6: Iseek-KDC Gore Hill, Artarmon. SYD7: Fujitsu Sydney Datacentre, Homebush. SYD61: NextDC S1, Macquarie Park.
The company is also known to have edge network facilities in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
Last year, AWS signed a whole-of-government deal with Australia, enabling federal, state and territory agencies, as well as public universities and publicly-owned companies, to use AWS Cloud services. Agencies can use all AWS services in any of the company's 66 availability zones in 21 global regions under the deal.