Tuesday, 26 May 2020 11:54

Only states can release stats on COVIDSafe data after pandemic ends Featured

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Only states can release stats on COVIDSafe data after pandemic ends Image by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay

Data collected by the COVIDSafe app will be destroyed after the pandemic is declared over in Australia, and only the states and territories will be able to release data to show if the app was an effective tool in combatting the pandemic.

A Department of Health spokesperson told iTWire in response to queries that no statistics would be released by the Federal Government.

When the pandemic was declared over in the country, users of the app would be prompted to delete the app from their smartphones.

"The Commonwealth is not involved in the utilisation of the data," the spokesperson added.

iTWire had inquired whether the stats collected by the app and uploaded would be released so that Australians could get an idea about how the data had helped in combatting the crisis.

Deleting the app from a smartphone would also delete all app information. And when the pandemic was over, the central server that was storing the data would also be cleaned out.

"The information in the highly secure information storage system will also be destroyed at the end of the pandemic," was how the spokesperson put it.

The app has been downloaded and registered on 6.05 million devices.

"The strict privacy legislation, which restricts access to data from the COVIDSafe app to health authorities in the states and territories for the sole purpose of COVID-19 contact tracing, means information about current users is not available to the Commonwealth Government," the spokesperson added.

"Accessing or providing data from COVIDSafe for any purpose except for COVID-19 contact tracing is an offence."


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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