AIIA endorses government's COVID-19 tracing app


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 28 April, 2020


AIIA endorses government's COVID-19 tracing app

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has thrown its support behind the federal government’s new COVID-19 tracing app following a detailed briefing on its inner workings.

The association was given an exclusive briefing into the technology behind the app by Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert, Digital Transformation Agency CEO Randall Brugeaud and ASCS head Rachel Noble.

AIIA CEO Ron Gauci said the briefing has satisfied the industry body that the cybersecurity protections built into the app’s design are sufficient to protect Australians.

“Cybersecurity and online personal privacy is of paramount importance to all Australians and so is the health and safety of its citizens,” he said.

“Based on this detailed briefing and understanding that the app does not track your geo-location and that personal data and cybersecurity concerns have been designed into the app, the AIIA therefore supports the government tracing app and strongly recommends that all Australians download it.”

Gauci said the data will be able to give the government more confidence in considering relaxation of quarantine measures, and that encouraging Australians to engage with the app can help prevent the spread of the virus.

“By encouraging all Australians to engage with the app, we can support state health contact tracing teams to help identify community clusters and secondary spread of the COVID-19 now we have flattened the curve,” he said.

The COVID-19 tracing app, available for both Android and iOS, uses Bluetooth to interact with other users in a certain distance, sending key codes anonymously. Users testing positive for COVID-19 update their status on the app, alerting all users if they have come in contact with the infected user in the past 14 days.

AIIA Chair and Deloitte Australia Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Deloitte Australia Robert Hillard said this demonstrates the role digital technology has to play in advancing medical containment.

“In the absence of a medical vaccine, you could think about contact tracing as a digital vaccine, with our contact data being the virtual antibodies,” he said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Rawpixel.com

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