More than 300 of Australia’s leading technology professionals have voiced their public support of the COVIDSafe app.
In a series of print advertisements being run in The Australian and Australian Financial Review, 310 senior ACS members said they had downloaded and were using the app.
“With the economic crisis kicking in, and restrictions starting to be lifted, data access and use will be critical to suppressing future contagion,” ACS CEO, Andrew Johnson, told Information Age.
“So, what we wanted to do in this Team Australia moment, was identify some senior influencers amongst the ACS membership who believe that, while not a silver bullet, appropriate data capture and use is an important strategy for health care professionals to protect those that are most vulnerable and will assist in suppressing the virus.”
The app, launched over the Anzac Day weekend, uses Bluetooth to log a user’s close contacts over a 21-day period, making it easier to trace other people who have been contact with person testing positive for COVID-19.
At the time of its launch, the government indicated 40 per cent of Australians downloading the app –approximately 10 million people – would be a measure of success and possibly pave the way for restrictions to be eased.
Last Tuesday, the Australian Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, said the number of downloads stood at 5.9 million four weeks after the app’s release.
On the same day, the Victorian Health Department revealed it had successfully used the data saved by an infected patient for contact tracing, the first time state agencies had accessed information collected by the program.
The ACS Ethics Committee and Technical Advisory Board have each prepared position papers, while the Ethics Committee Chair Dr Michael Wildenauer has written in Information Age on deciding on whether to download the app.