I am not Australian: How to Download Aussie’s Coronavirus Contact Tracing app, Covidsafe

I am not Australian: How to Download Aussie’s Coronavirus Contact Tracing app, Covidsafe

Hello everyone!

With all the negative energy surrounding us brought by this COVID-19 pandemic, I try my best every day to find the brighter side of everything. It has been 4-months now that I am (temporarily) staying in Australia, in one of the humble towns of Victoria State and I didn’t expect that I will be staying here that long. Just like most of you, my travel plans around Australia was canceled, and now spending most of my autumn days right in from of my computer, wearing my comforting silk pajamas

There is no point in complaining about its coz, it is an indefinite situation we have now. We do not know how long we can flatten the curve, and how long the restrictions will be. And what we can only contribute for now is to follow the health government mandate, stay at home and avoid unnecessary gatherings outside, and stay healthy.





2020 is the year where we Bee Gee’s greatest single “Stayin’ Alive” becomes our global anthem. 


While here in Australia (as on a temporary status) and just like many Australians, I must exercise being cautious and follow the Australia government laws and updates about fighting coronavirus.

About two weeks ago, The Australian government has launched Covidsafe, an app that traces every person running the app who has been in contact with someone else using the app who has tested positive for coronavirus in the previous few weeks, in a bid to automate coronavirus contact tracing, and allow the easing of restrictions.


How to Download Australia’s Covidsafe app, and what to expect:


Australia's Coronavirus Contact Tracing app, Covidsafe
(screenshot from my phone)


How does the app work?
After you download and install the app from the Australian Apple App store or Google Play store – which you can also access from the government’s Covidsafe app page covidsafe.gov.au or aus.gov.au/app – you’ll be asked to register your name (or pseudonym), age range, postcode, and phone number.

That information is stored encrypted on a government server, and then passed on to state and territory health authorities if someone you’ve been in contact with has tested positive.

Using Bluetooth, the app records anyone you get close to who also has the app. The two apps exchange anonymized IDs, which cycle every two hours and are stored encrypted on phones and deleted after 21 days.

If someone is infected with coronavirus, they then use the app to consent to upload the list of anonymized IDs for the past 21 days of contact for contact tracing. It uses signal strength and other data then to work out who needs to be contacted.

What personal data is collected?
The name you choose to provide, your age range, your phone number, and your postcode, information about your encrypted user ID, information about testing positive for coronavirus, and then the contact IDs should you consent to that being uploaded.
Australia's Coronavirus Contact Tracing app, Covidsafe
(screenshot from my phone)


When you register for COVIDSafe, The Australian Department of Health will ask you to consent to the collection of your:

mobile phone number — so that you can be contacted if needed for contact tracing

name — so the relevant health officials can confirm they are speaking to the right person when performing contact tracing. This will be easiest if you provide your full name, but you can use a pseudonym or fake name if you prefer

age range — so health officials can prioritize cases for contact tracing if needed

postcode — to make sure health officials from the right State or Territory who work in your area can contact you, and to prioritize cases for contact tracing, e.g. hotspot areas

If you are under 16 years of age, your parent or guardian will need to consent to the collection of your registration information and contact data.

Bluetooth data is also uploaded to the server upon testing positive in order for the government to figure out, using signal strength, which contacts need to be notified.

If you test positive to COVID-19
A health official will contact you and ask for consent to enter your mobile number into the data store to generate a PIN to be sent to you by SMS.

If you enter the PIN, you will give your consent to upload contact data on your device into the data store to share with health officials to enable contact tracing.

If another user tests positive to COVID-19, they may upload their contact data, which may include details of their contact with you.






How will personal information be collected?
The use of COVIDSafe is completely voluntary. You can install or delete COVIDSafe at any time.
As part of your use of COVIDSafe, The Australian Department of Health will collect:

*your registration information after you successfully enter a PIN sent by SMS

*Information about your encrypted user ID when you have COVIDSafe open or running on your device

*Information that you have tested positive to COVID-19 when you agree to a health official sending you an SMS to enable you to upload your contact data

*your contact data, when you or another COVIDSafe user you have come into contact with tests positive to COVID-19 and chooses to upload contact data on their device

No user should feel pressured to install or continue to use COVIDSafe, or to agree to upload contact data to the data store. This is prohibited under the Biosecurity Determination. If you feel pressured to do any of these things, you can make a complaint at:


Departmental privacy inquiries
Contact to find out more about privacy within the Department, or to make a privacy inquiry or complaint

Privacy officer
Email: privacy@health.gov.au
Phone: 02 6289 1555
Freecall: 1800 020 103

Postal addresses:
Department of Health
MDP 62
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601

OR contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner or the Australian Human Rights Commission.


Australia's Coronavirus Contact Tracing app, Covidsafe


How will personal information be stored?
The Australian Department of Health will store all registration information, encrypted user IDs, and contact data, in the data store. It is a cloud-based facility, using infrastructure located in Australia, which has been classified as appropriate for the storage of data up to the ‘protected’ security level. The authority will delete all data in the data store after the COVID-19 pandemic has concluded as required by the Biosecurity Determination.

Contact data on your device will be automatically deleted from your device 21 days after contact occurs. It will also be deleted if you remove COVIDSafe from your device or upload your contact data to the data store.


Can a user correct or access personal information?
You can:
*change your registration information by deleting and re-installing COVIDSafe
*delete the registration information we hold in the data store by contacting us
*register the correct information on COVIDSafe

To ensure maximum security of your COVIDSafe data, you will not be able to access your data held in the data store.


Can it trace my location?
The app does not track location. The Google version of the app does seek permission for location information but that is due to permissions needed for bluetooth.






Australia's Coronavirus Contact Tracing app, Covidsafe
(screenshot from my phone)


Will it drain my battery?
Not significantly, however, the Apple version of the app will need to be open in order for the bluetooth function to work.

That will drain the battery more, however, the government made a change to the Singapore version of the app and you can now lock your phone screen as long as the app is open when you lock it.


Will it be mandatory?
No. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said consent would be key to the app, indicating it would not be mandatory, and people would share information through the app only if they consented to it.

The draft legislation to support the app specifically makes it a crime punishable by five years in jail to force someone to download the app and upload data from the app against their consent. It also makes it a crime to refuse service or entry or employment to people if they’re not using the app.



What if I’m using a non-Australian account?
At this stage, it seems the app is only available in Australian app stores. I created an Australian Google account to download the Covidsafe app.


“The Australian community has come together over the past few weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19. We have done so well in this regard that some states are even beginning to cautiously lift restrictions, which is going to have a positive effect on mental health. The AASW is asking everyone to download this app and play your part in helping to eliminate this virus. Social workers are working so hard to help people through this time, and anything we can do to assist this needs to be done.” -- The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) National President Christine Craik said.





Many Australians are concerned about data privacy, and I understand their concerns. However, as a user who downloaded so many apps that I trust, I made my own way of precautions to safeguard my personal information and it is my own responsibility. That’s why Covidsafe app is voluntary, just like when I voluntarily download so many social media apps, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even TikTok which in fact these social media apps requested for my location and does geotag.  

Check what other Covidsafe volunteer users says:
… we would be cautious about our data privacy, that is why we advise not to share your personal data online and use a pseudonym instead.

… lol, same feeling!

… yup those dating apps! 



My advice: Best to download Covidsafe app coz it is your kindest way to help the government in contact tracing Covid-19 carriers and to help flatten the curve.

IF you are here in Australia, let me know if you downloaded the app.


Disclaimer: Hey, #ThisisNotSponsoredPost



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95 comments :

  1. Such an optimistic way to help your public health system! I have a privacy issue with apps in general but if we have something like this here in the Philippines at a genuine emergency we are currently in, I wouldn't mind installing any tools that would help the communities to flatten the curve of COVID-19.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true. I am confident about Australia's data privacy law gives give me peace of mind.

      Delete
  2. This is definitely a helpful app during this pandemic! South Korea also has an app like this one. I hope in the Philippines and Indonesia, they will also have this. It saves time and manpower while protecting us digitally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I heard the source code of this app came from Singapore, and tweak it for Australia needs and data privacy law.

      Delete
  3. I liked the feature that traces whom you are physically near with, really pivotal during contact tracing. I hope Philippines will be able to develop one. We have one, however, it's feature are so elementary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the developers would not be greedy not to share the source code.

      Delete
  4. I think this app is much better since it can detect if you have contacted a person who's positive of the virus. We have a covid app too but it only shows you the locations of those who have the virus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see. There are talks here that suggest that businesses will encourage to have this app.

      Delete
  5. i think it will be hard for this to happen here in the PH. but good job to Australia government for having such. it will definitely help in flattening the curve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. for months of living here, I learned that majority of Australians value their health, that's why they have a good heathcare system, exercising is a must and deemed essential. Whereas in the Philippines, majority of the Filipinos have different priorities (which is understandable due to economic status).

      Delete
  6. That is a really awesome app! Would definitely check this out! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As they say Lamang ang may alam! I hope most of the Australian could be able to use this app. This is one way of including the innovation of technology in such situations like this one. Hoping for the betterment of the situation all over the world, not just in Australia but also here in the Philippines. And as for you, stay safe madam!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Franze!

      Apparently, not Australians are agree to download this app. Some thinks this will only track them (overly acting).

      Delete
  8. This is such a relevant post with the required information in current difficult times. We have a similar app in our country. I guess each one has it's own. These apps are really helping in the fight against Covid19

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Each country have different contact trace app that fits to their needs and requirements.

      Delete
  9. That is one amazing app! I really admire web or app developers for always putting out something so useful at any given time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I heard the source code is from Singapore, and they tailored fit it for Australian users. Nag download na rin ako kahit na guest lang ako dito. Mabuti na ang safe.

      Delete
  10. I can't blame you for getting the app. Always better safe than sorry. Ingat ka lagi!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's great that there is an app available. Let's hope it works out well and they manage to help people identify if they've been in contact with those that are infected so they know to isolate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. It is best to use any means to be safe.

      Delete
  12. Ok yang app na yan, especially super tedious mag contact tracing. Good thing din na voluntary sya. Hopefully lang is protected un data privacy ng mga users and un mga nakukuhang info. Sana meron din dito sa Pinas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't worry much about my information I disclosed coz first, I can use my pseudonym. I will only have a responsibility my legal information IF I got Covid19

      Delete
  13. This is very informative. My sister is in Sydney currently studying, this will be helpful for her. Will share this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having this app means helping the government to achieve their goal to contain the virus.

      Delete
  14. Looks like a great way for them to remain proactive with stopping the spread. I love how this app would be able to tell you if you were exposed and that the information is not stored forever but cycles out after the 21 days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is reasonable to store the data for 21days, knowing the fact that coronavirus stays two weeks or so with the infected host.

      Delete
  15. This sounds like a great app. I am working on keeping my family safe. We've been mostly staying at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a wise move. Staying at home won't hurt anyone. Keep safe!

      Delete
  16. I am still amazed about how this app was carefully though of! Kudos to Australia, the country I want to go back to! hihi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just learned that Australia is very keen in making their people safe and healthy. #KnowsPriority

      Delete
  17. this is so very interesting. i like you can use a pseudonym. i doubt that americans would ever go for this but it is very interesting and hopefully useful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nowadays it is best to trust the government about health safety.

      Delete
  18. That's so wonderful that we can make use of such apps these days! Is it possible to download it in Poland? Would it work for my country, too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For now, it is only available for Australians. What I did is I created an Australian Google account in order for me to access it.

      Delete
  19. That will make things easier. That way people can know if they have been exposed to the virus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true! I am also amazed how technology is evolving and helping millions of people.

      Delete
  20. I love that you guys have this app. What a great resource for all. It seriously has everything on there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I have nothing to worry. I only set the Bluetooth on when I'm going out.

      Delete
  21. Yep, no point complaining about the situation for sure. This definitely looks like an interesting App. I hadn't heard of it previous to your post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe your city is also rolling out a similar contact tracing app.

      Delete
  22. a helpful app indeed, sana app developer here wi come up with tjis idea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. App developer in the Philippine maybe collaborated with the guys from Singapore. This app's source code is from Singapore and tweak it for Australian users.

      Delete
  23. This app looks amazing! I wish we had something like this in the UK this is really helpful. thankyou for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  24. Currently waiting for the uk’s version to launch, should be a game changer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes! A UK's version will be a huge help for its citizens.

      Delete
  25. How fascinating! I had no idea other countries were doing things like this. It is a great idea to help notify anyone who may need to get tested. It really solves a problem of not knowing how to track community exposure!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is an interesting way to track. In USA we are overloaded with constant daily news regurgitating all the numbers in each state/county etc. I feel like we are overinformed....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here in Australia, we monitor the frequent heath government updates and their website is our reliable source.

      Delete
  27. I love how the Australian Government is handling the COVID-19 situation. I hope there's something like this in the Philippines too. I've read that there are lots of errors in the COVID-19 reports here. It's frustrating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am happy that Australia is leading in the fight against this pandemic. Without the people's support, it won't be happen.

      Delete
  28. early on, ang bilis ng Korea magdevelop ng app tracing the whereabouts of the infected. ang galing and very useful for us. good luck and stay safe kayo dyan.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I hope the govt can do something like this or those app makers here in the country. Or the whole world. That would be better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope the Philippines will lose their leash in Bureaucracy.

      Delete
    2. oh...I hope so too....I can't wait for Bill Gates Mandatory vaccine either. Im so scared right now, id let him inject anything into me, even if it hasnt been tested for safety.

      Delete
  30. I don't know of an app like that in America. This is really cool. And I love your silk pajamas! I hope you are able to enjoy your time where you're at for now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Marie! Yes, I am enjoying the indoors and work on my passion projects. I'm glad that I'm here in Australia and not in the Philippines, where sadly PH isn't doing well.

      Delete
  31. This sounds like a great way to keep yourself and others safe! It's so unfortunate that here in the US many are blowing it off and don't care to be responsible citizens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Government here is helping each other and try everyone to be safe and survive. That is what means to be an Australian (I heard this from my neighbor!).

      Delete
  32. Napakahelpful naman ng app na yan. Share ko ito sa friend ko na nasa Australia baka sakaling di pa niya alam.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Seems like a great app in tracing COVID-19. We all need this now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope the covid app in the Philippines, works fine.

      Delete
  34. I love how Australia is responding, and it's engaging the citizens even though you are not Australian. How I wish the same is also being implemmented here in the PH. Btw, this app is really helpful! I heard the same with SG as well..

    Love,
    Cha of Little Misadvencha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the source code is from Singapore, and tailored-fit for Australians.

      Delete
  35. I'm so curious to see how different countries use these types of apps. the one in the UK is currently in testing and is a bit controversial, but it looks like it'll be awhile before it's rolled out more generally. I imagine that I will use it as I live in a very densely populated area where there've been a lot of infections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The app is not mandatory, however I downloaded it as my way of safety and also help to contribute on the success of this app. A simple gesture that wouldn't hurt me.

      Delete
  36. I’m curious why you’re in Australia temporarily? Anyways, I hope you’re safe and well there! :) That’s a fantastic app and I’m sure it’s been very helpful for the medical workers and govt to do contact tracing there! I wish something similar would be available here in the Philippines :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm here visiting my boyfriend's family. I supposed to comeback to the Philippines last March but COVID-19 happen so I decided to stay here.

      Delete
  37. This is very impressive! What a way to use technology and with everyone's cooperation, the pandemic could end sooner!! Wish we had something like this in the Phillippines. Although i doubt we'll have resources or execute this properly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many genius developers as well in the Philippines. They can also collaborate with developers in other countries like Australia since this is a worldwide matter.

      Delete
  38. Australia is doing an excellent job at contact tracing. I wish my government will be this diligent.They don't even want to show the real numbers,I wish I could have this type of app here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, transparency could save million lives.

      Delete
  39. App seems to to be very helpful and important.... Australia and whole world is doing much great in responding.. (World in Eyes)

    ReplyDelete
  40. This is a very amazing app! Australia is doing an amazing job!

    xoxo
    Lovely

    http://mynameislovely.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. It is a tough one the balance between freedom and also the need to stay. I really hope that the app works for sure x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As of latest report this morning, the health government said the public response in using this app is very positive!

      Delete
  42. Thank you for featuring this post. I hope we can have this tool to help trace contacts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I do hope as well, para naman makampante tayong mga Pinoy.

      Delete
  43. I’ve been using my own version of this for a while now and not sure how I managed without it! I really need to take a look with this. Thank you for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  44. This app looks very helpful and useful. I wish we too had such app here in our country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How's the situation out there in your country?

      Delete
  45. This looks like a very helpful app. Thank you for sharing this information!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Unfortunately, this App is something I am strongly against. I definetely will not be downloading it under any circumstances! Have done lots of research on the matter and Its not for me! and Its not even working in Australia properly anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  47. This app sounds really useful in helping to keep on top of the spread of Covid19 - I think there is something similar in the UK

    Laura x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is! Any kind of help is better. I would not be against with it.

      Delete

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