At the end of March, referred to the ABC News, Morrison Government launched a new tracking app as one of the protective measurements to effectively avoid the another breakout, Meanwhile, the new app follows the new features of #Whatsapp to maximally make the tracking app accessible to most Australians. The government’s new initiatives can positively influence the residents’ daily life and avoid and reduce the spread of Covid-19, so it can also be regarded a restriction of freedom as well as privacy because of the online data.
What is # Covidsafe?
The new tracking app can be downloaded in both Google Play and Apple store, and it requires each citizen to register personal information including postcode. The system is compulsorily utilized to prevent the further breakout of COVID-19 after the Australian society operates as usual. Covidsafe is managed by the Department of Health and it strongly limits the activity range of the Australians, so as to protect the safety and reduce the confirmed cases. In addition, one of the affordances of the tracking app is to track the contacts and every Australian’s movement through connecting with the Bluetooth of mobile phones and automatically uploading the information to the system, in which the app can be an effective policy and advanced method to contribute to the recovery. Therefore, how will technology measurement be used to prevent the spread of Covid-19?
The most noticeable feature of the tracking app is that it can track everyone, so it will be easier to identify the potential confirmed cases and their related contacts, thus reducing the increase of Covid-19 patients.
What makes #Covidsafe become a controversial topic?
The potential issues of Covidsafe may prevent the practical use and support. As the operation of the tracking technology uses Bluetooth in real-time, which may leak the personal data on their mobile phone because it is an automatic system. At the same time, it is possible that the location and contacts may be collected to the system and the privacy of citizens cannot be completely guaranteed.
For those who object the app, their concern is reasonable because the Department of Information has already admitted the app to obtain the user’s data without informing them. Besides, once the personal details are leaked or acquired by others in an illegal way, the risk will be more than what it presents. Singapore has issued the tracking app policy before Australia, and based on their experience, personal identification may be faced with the danger of embezzlement. Therefore, it seems to be reasonable to refuse using the app. Whereas those who support the app also have an opinion about the privacy problem. One of the supporters, Xu, a student at QUT questions those who do not believe Covidsafe is a safe app, “The issue is in there, right? It cannot be a reasonable excuse to not support the government’s policy since the priority of safety is to avoid the risk of being infected with coronavirus.” Additionally, from the perspective of the opponents, Xin Yu argues that the technology can be improved and repaired, but the society cannot spend too much time in waiting for the Government to optimize the usage of Covidsafe.
The interview with QUT student in Brisbane
Accordingly, people have their viewpoints from their standpoint, and the discussion about Covidsafe makes the app become the hotline topic during the epidemic of Covid-19.
Why should Covidsafe be extensively used in Australia?
Even though the reason why the Australians are worried about the negative effects of the tracking app sounds reasonable, why should the utilization of the tracking app still be supported?
One of the noticeable affordances of the tracking app is a real-time Bluetooth connection that can follow the user’s each movement to avoid the infection and the further outbreak of coronavirus after the Australian society operates as usual. Therefore, when each user can be tracked, then the information can effectively contribute to the economic recovery.
The Chinese government has announced to compulsorily use a similar track method to track users’ movement, that is, the green barcode, which will immediately turn red once the user has contracted with any COV-19 patient, so the person will be limited to go out and maybe quarantined.
The Chinese government has issued more strict standards for the track app policy, and it can not only track the contacts but also needs the registration with the personal identification to ensure each person’s information is matching. The QR barcode is mandatorily used to enter and leave a place, and it usually will be double checked by the gate security.
Implementing the tracking measurement successfully contributes to protect Chinese citizen’s safety and reduce the confirmed cases of COVID-19.
After understanding the advanced track technology used in China, the benefits of Covidsafe can be apparently seen, because it can not only reduce the risk of being infected, but also help to maintain the society’s normal operation during a difficult time.
Furthermore, based on the successful experience of the Chinese government, COVID-safe should consider a more deep range of utilization, the potential issues, and the use range. As a result, more Australians will start to download the app.
Besides, after the breakout of the coronavirus in Australia, from the statistics of the Department of Health, the current confirmed cases have been accelerated to 7185, and more than 100 hundred people have died of Covid19. Based on the deep understanding, the potential issues of Covidsafe seem to be insignificant, because what really matters to the society is to ensure the safety of Australia. The top priority for both Government and citizen is to reduce the confirmed cases, attempt to revise the current status, and use Covidsafe to help with the positive transformation.
The number of victims can be regarded as one of the reasonable reasons why Austrian should support and positively use Covidsafe in accordance with the Government.
Personally, it is considered that Covidsafe has more advantages than disadvantages. During the Australia ban period, the loss of economy has negatively affected the whole society and the public income, and at the same time, the exports and import business as well as education were also greatly affected. Beside the losses in those fields, the local shop owners have faced a great economic pressure. If Australia refuses to use Covidsafe, the next breakout of the novel coronavirus may re-influence the society’s normal operation and cause another risk of the economic downturn.
I also believe that the government can guarantee the safety of our privacy, so why do not you start to use Covidsafe?