CHOICE membership

COVIDsafe App - Australians Doing the Right Thing

The mobile phone App to help all Australians assist each other has been released.

If you have down loaded the App, please take the opportunity to add your voice in support to this topic.

"The COVIDSafe app is about assisting, finding those cases which may be undiagnosed in the community, helping people get early treatment, helping people have early diagnosis and to ensure that our doctors and nurses, our health workers, our families and friends are protected and that will save lives and protect lives," Health Minister Greg Hunt said as he launched the app.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy said he would be using the app.

“No Australian should have any concerns about downloading this app,” he said.

For us, it’s not a debate about politics, or taking ideological sides.

It is about helping our doctors and nurses and all the staff that work with them in hospitals, nursing homes and elsewhere.

We all need to do our best to support the Chief Medical Officers to stay ahead of ‘The Virus’. It’s the best way we can help other Australians, and reduce any risks of future outbreaks of Covid-19 in our communities.

The guidance of our CMO’s Federal and State and willingness of others to act has helped to keep Australia safe. It is the trust Australian’s have in their guidance that has saved many lives in Australia.

That’s why we have downloaded the App. It’s the right thing to do.

Please add your support like one million Australians already have, and feel free to add your messages of support to this topic.

Mark :slightly_smiling_face:

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There is a tendency for the more technically oriented and those of a certain viewpoint to assume the worst when it comes to software and privacy. Add to that pair that the app is government sponsored and you will hear many comments that end with the quip “what could go wrong?”

It is true that government management of personal data and new software has been of a poor standard in some cases. I wouldn’t rule out some aspects of incompetence with this tracking app but I find the level of paranoia by some about its adoption extreme. In some circles it is a given that They are out to get you, that They want to take away all your rights and have us living in a North Korean society as soon as possible. The thin end of the wedge argument has been brought out, this software is part of the creeping normalisation of a surveillance society.

No software is guaranteed to be 100% secure - but knowing this we use a great deal of it every day and life goes on. People do misuse trust from time to time but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily happen or that a breach will do serious harm to the individual.

If it is run properly this app has the potential to act as a backstop in case of problems as COVID19 restrictions are relaxed. Looking at the potential gains versus the risks my view is that on balance we ought to support it. Holding back the return to more normal lives out of suspicion alone is not a good judgement.

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22 posts were merged into an existing topic: COVID app privacy concerns

I attempted to instally the app on my Samsung Galaxy Core Prime SM-G360G handset which is upgraded to the latest operating system available for it, Andriid version 5.1.1, but it could not find the app in the Google Play Store, whilst I could find it in the Play Store on our office PC.

I found and installed ithe app on my wife’s Samsung Galaxy 5 which is running Android version 6.01 without any problems.

One has to wonder why the Government decided to restrict the app to versions 6.0 and up if they are serious about getting as many people as possible to install it.

The app obviously will not install on Android phones runniong versions below 6.0 and Samsung does not provide any means to update older versions, no doubt so as to try to force users to buy new phones.

I have found a few articles listing workarounds to allow downloading and installing of versions 6.0 and later but they appear a little fiddly and risky so I asked a phone repair shop today but the person said he was a hardware specialist and wasn’t very knowledge with software, so I will check some other repair shops.

I am prepared to pay a small amount to have the OS updated but I am certainly not going to but a new phone, especially when this one is only around 7 years old and in new condition.

For anyone else having problems trying to install the app on an older Android handset, check what operating system you have installed by clicking on “Settings”, then “About Device” and scrolling down to ;Android version".

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Even on iOS, it doesn’t install in all OS versions. Needs iOS10 or later. But thats still covering a lot of iPhones. Pretty sure even my old 5S would be good for it (but I no longer own that one)… or maybe not… just remembering that the last OS I had on that was 9.3.5

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On a different topic, anecdotally I’ve received reports of people still today having trouble registering, even as plenty of others register just fine.

While there could be many reasons for this, to do with older or lower spec phones, etc, I suspect many of the issues is simply due to server load on the server processing the registrations, and particularly the server sending activation SMS’s.

So my advice to all and sundry is just; Try again later. And again. And again, as often as needed.

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As per my experience yesterday.

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Been reading in Whirlpool.net.au with regard to the tech problems and there are many. Android seems to be set to work better than iOS. iOS will respond to a BT ping from another phone but cannot initiate one, itself, unless the app is open and in the foreground. So a locked screen, even if the app is open and theoretically active, is enough to stop it from sending a ping to another BT phone. Seems like it might not work at all until they improve it.

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Today I used Google to search for the app on my phone and it found it.

I then went about the installation process and it stated it would be installed shortly…

It is now stating that the app has been installed. It did not ask me for my details but I had to sign into my Google account to get the download.

Unfortunately it has a message “This app is compatible with some of your devices” but my mobile has an X beside the model number.

Back to trying to get the OS updated.

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Seems there are people doing the wrong thing.

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Yes I have installed it (Android) after I went through the assessment by the legal firm & the response by Dept.Health, & I believe it’s a good thing IF it works properly on more devices than maybe the case.
Just a small point - I hear some commentators (including a couple here) referring to the “tracking” app, when in fact it is not “Tracking”, but enabling a trace record of prolonged interactions without geographic location to be noted.

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The irony of it is that I am still keeping to home & so don’t expect it to be of immediate use till restrictions are lifted.

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It would be nice if the health.gov.au further sliced the unknown category into in essence cold case vs current, and maybe removed those unknowns for who the virus window had closed

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Every little bit helps , so what if the powers to be have a bit of your data . If you have something to hide don’t do it .

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Apologies all, I can only relate the “right thing to do”.

I’m leaving the App installed and active on my mobile, as have many other Australian’s.

I’m not interested in arguing @Drop_Bear why others might choose otherwise. If you don’t support the App there is no need to come to this topic. There is a separate topic for those interested in arguing the needs for better government and privacy protections in all areas of our lives.

For those having a go, let them have somewhere to come and share their commitment, and if they are having issues with installing or using, receive positive advice.

For those who care most about the moral outcomes.
Our current manual contact tracing has let us down badly.

I’m left wondering what we missed with the contact tracing at the NSW NewMarch House Aged Care Facility.
12 deaths from their precious residents to 29th April.

If Australia had effective contact tracing how did the one staff person contract Covid-19? From the time that staff person came in contact with another carrier until they were potentially infectious in the aged care facility, there was an undetected carrier and a contact that was not traced. That’s an epic fail. If contact tracing the old way was reliable it missed forewarning that instance. There are now at least 17 Aged Care Facilities with staff and or Aged Residents with COVID-19 infections.

Imagine how any medical or support staff must feel if the opportunity to identify an at risk contact has been missed, and they unwittingly pass to others.

We owe those most at risk, and all the medical staff and their support to do everything we are asked to help them.

The current initiative with the COVIDsafe App is what we have been asked to support. To do otherwise is to refuse to support the CMOs and their leadership. I know that’s the right thing for me to to do.

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I thought no I think this app is risky but then I thought don’t be so selfish. I now have the app and encourage others to help the safety of the community. Selfish is how I describe my self when I’m too scared to get an immunisation. This app is great. Hardest part is keeping it active and not closing it. It’s very economical on the battery and I don’t care if the government wants to steal my debt. Get over it and get it.

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I am 100% confident that by using the COVIDsafe app I am not giving the government any extra information about me they don’t already have access to.

Having bluetooth on (and working) all day doesn’t drain your battery too much. My phone came off charge at 6am this morning, at the same time I put in my hearing aids (they automatically connect when they turn on). I spent my entire work day either listening to music or making phone calls using the Bluetooth Classic connection to the hearing aids. I still have just over 50% battery at 7:30pm. Admittedly this is a relatively new iPhone 11 pro with excellent battery life, but still… the battery drain will be negligible.
Having the St John First Responder app on (which DOES track my location at all times) uses more, but I’m still keeping it on because theres a small chance I might be able to help save a life. Same with COVIDsafe.

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Yes as confirmed by the Dept of Health:
`…Thank you for contacting the Australian Government Department of Health.

For Android , you need Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or higher. We are collating the full list of Android devices the app will work with.

For iOS , you need iOS 10 or higher. You will need an iPhone 5S model phone or higher.

We do not currently support other mobile operating systems.

COVIDSafe works on as broad a range of handsets as possible. However, there are limits as to how far back a new app build can go for reasons such as security and Bluetooth capability.

I have heard of quite a few (usually elderly persons) who do not have the required operating system/ phone- it is unlikely they will all buy new phones so there will be a large gap in what should be universal coverage???

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Yeah it’s a shame that a lot of the prime beneficiaries of the contact tracing app, can’t use it to help.

I wonder (haven’t checked) whether older bluetooth only devices can in fact use the app (if they were allowed to install it) just in a less power efficient way using older bluetooth protocols, or whether the bluetooth listening can only happen with BLE. Hmm, I might have to research

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Also supported by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), see: https://intouchpublichealth.net.au/2020/04/28/contact-tracing-app-a-tool-for-ending-the-covid-pandemic/

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