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Young Australia Wary On Govt. Plann For Phone-Tracing App

CANBERRA: Prime Minister Scott Morrison may be facing some difficulty in persuading Australians –  particularly young ones – to download and use an app, now being designed by the Government’s Digital Transformation Agency, that would allow the Government to track their contacts (CDN, Friday). 

Government sources have said the tracking feature would only be used if the app user contracts COVID-19, and then strictly only to warn the contacts that they should be tested. 

They also claim it doesn’t so much track a user as enable callers to be traced should the phone owner develop the coronavirus.

According to Government Services Minister Stuart Robert, privacy and security would be watertight. “There is no geolocation, there is no surveillance, there is no tracking,” he said last week. “The app simply connects with another app if those two phones are within 1.5 metres for 15 minutes. It simply swaps phone numbers and names.”

The Government is hoping at least 40 percent of Australians will sign up for the app. 

According to a Financial Review report, many young Australians are wary of downloading the proposed app. The Fin quotes one 25-year-old who noted that many corporations already track personal information, which he said “is being sold left, right and centre.”

A young girl said she definitely would not download the app. “I don’t like that they can do that,” she said. “I don’t like technology anyway … I get nervous about using Google Maps, when it is constantly asking for my location.”



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