Australia’s self-isolation dodgers revealed: New phone data from Apple and Google shows people in Sydney are flouting restrictions FAR more than in Melbourne
- Mobile phone tracking shows Sydneysiders going out more than Melburnians
- The data by Google and Apple is able to calculate who is flouting lockdown rules
- Some experts warn the trace technology is a possible violation of human rights
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Sydneysiders are not following social distancing measures as strictly as Melburnians, according to new data from Apple and Google.
The American tech giants are able to track users’ phone data to determine where they have travelled during Australia’s coronavirus lockdown.
Although the data only takes into account Apple and Google users and not the entire population, the figures give insights into how the cities have responded to tough COVID-19 measures.
Sydneysiders are not following social distancing measures as strictly as Melburnians, according to new data from Apple and Google. Pictured: Sydneysiders in the eastern subburbs flauting social distancing rules on April 11
Victoria has moved to a stage three lockdown while the rest of Australia remains at state two. Pictured: A empty laneway seen at Bank place on April 15, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia
In New South Wales, visits to parks and beaches have fallen 27 percent, Google data shows.
In Victoria the figure has dropped by 75 percent.
After Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced the nation-wide stage two lockdown on March 23, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews further increased his state’s restrictions on March 31 to stage three.
As a result, driver’s requests for Apple Map routes in Melbourne plummeted 51 percent, walking requests were down 60 percent and requests for buses and taxis slumped 83 percent, compared to mid-January.
But in Sydney the drop off isn’t as big.
Driver’s requests for routes slid 38 percent in the Harbour City, walking requests dipped 56 percent and requests for buses and taxis reduced by 76 percent.
Data from Apple shows how much user’s requests for map routes have decreased since the coronavirus lockdown was introduced in Melbourne which currently has a stage three shutdown in place
Data from Apple shows how much user’s requests for map routes have decreased since the coronavirus lockdown was introduced in Sydney which currently has a stage two shutdown in place
Prime Minister Morrison believes such tracing technology could be used by the Federal Government to track the spread of COVID-19.
He said an app which can help trace those who have come into contact with infected patients could be rolled out in just two weeks.
Similar mobile-phone based tracking has already been deployed by the Singapore Government.
But not everyone is comfortable with the idea of government bureaucrats tracking their movements.
‘The concern is once you roll out technology like this it is very, very difficult to roll it back,’ senior lawyer at the centre Alice Drury told the Guardian Australia on Wednesday.
‘And with this technology human rights really have to be in the design of the technology.’
‘You can’t retro-fit human rights.’