COVIDSafe to help track down virus
The Consumers Health Forum welcomes the COVIDSafe tracing app as an additional key public health tool to reverse the spread of the virus in Australia.
“Provided many people install COVIDSafe on their phones, the app will accelerate what is currently a manual tracing process, helping state and territory officials efficiently and expediently target outbreaks or potential outbreaks of the virus,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.
“This promises to be an important measure as we move to ramp up testing and tracing in this next phase of the COVID response.
“Having the right privacy protection safeguards and consent arrangements in place is critical - it’s fundamental to the ‘social contract’ between the government and the community as we tackle the virus together - we know this is important to people from our own research.
“We acknowledge that some people have concerns about the privacy and security of the app. But it is important to remember that the app is voluntary, has a sole purpose and a 21-day timeframe and this is clear in the public health determination made by the Health Minister over the weekend.
“We also note that the determination makes an extensive number of practices such as coercion illegal and the government has committed to look at further legislative protections when Parliament resumes in May.
“CHF will be consulting our members and mounting an Australia’s Health Panel survey to learn more about our constituents’ reaction to and experience with the app. We will work with government where and if appropriate to share that information and its implications for ongoing implementation,” Ms Wells said.