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Australian Government considers mobile phone tracking app to monitor coronavirus

Big Brother is watching flu: Australian government considers mobile phone tracking app to monitor coronavirus when the lockdown is eased

  • Australians could soon have their mobile phones tracked due to COVID-19 crisis
  • Health authorities are mulling over how closely Australians could be monitored 
  • Singapore is using the TraceTogether app to help track coronavirus spread  
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Australians could soon have their mobile phones tracked to see if they have come into contact with coronavirus.

Health authorities are mulling over how closely Australians could be monitored once travel restrictions and social distancing rules are relaxed.

Singapore is using the TraceTogether application to help track the spread of the disease.

Australia has been given the code to develop the surveillance software.

Australians could soon have their mobile phones tracked to see if they have come into contact with coronavirus. Pictured: A woman wears a face mask at Bondi Beach on April 3

‘We’re very keen to use it and use it perhaps even more extensively than Singapore,’ Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy told a New Zealand parliamentary hearing.

Professor Murphy acknowledged there were privacy concerns.

‘Obviously there’s a conversation to have with the community about the acceptability of it but we think that idea, the TraceTogether app, is a really excellent one,’ he said.

‘We’re actively looking at that as part of a measure that might be used to perhaps consider some relaxation of measures.’

Professor Murphy was briefing New Zealand’s Epidemic Response Committee via video link on Tuesday.

TraceTogether uses Bluetooth to detect other users in close proximity, with encounters stored on a person’s phone.

Singapore is using the TraceTogether application to help track the spread of the disease. Australia has been given the code to develop the surveillance software

Singapore is using the TraceTogether application to help track the spread of the disease. Australia has been given the code to develop the surveillance software

They then have to share the records with authorities when asked to be part of a tracing investigation.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong via video on Monday March 23 to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Mr Morrison confirmed the government is looking at digital options for contact tracing.

‘But to fight this fight, there are so many tools that we have to use,’ Mr Morrison told reporters.

‘But the people we need most are Australians listening, being patient, carefully understanding the things we are asking of them.

‘We know it is a massive change to our lives but if we do it, and we do it consistently, and we do it patiently and understandingly, then we will get through this.’

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy told a New Zealand parliamentary hearing the government is 'very keen to use it'. Pictured: People in face masks in Sydney during coronavirus crisis

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy told a New Zealand parliamentary hearing the government is ‘very keen to use it’. Pictured: People in face masks in Sydney during coronavirus crisis

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk