We are concerned citizens who believe in the importance of signing up to the COVIDSafe app in great numbers very fast. We believe that this would help everyone get back to their lives safely and quickly.
We believe that contact tracing using Bluetooth technology is an important initiative. It is an important epidemiological tool for controlling the spread of the infectious disease. The World Health Organisation (WHO) agrees. WHO’s mantra for fighting infectious diseases is “Trace, Test, Treat“. Contact tracing comes first.
Independent research has also concluded that contact tracing using technology not only works but should be considered an imperative for fighting the spread of SARS-COVID-19. In Science, University of Oxford researchers conclude that “viral spread is too fast to be contained by manual contact tracing, but could be controlled if this process was faster, more efficient and happened at scale. A contact-tracing App which builds a memory of proximity contacts and immediately notifies contacts of positive cases can achieve epidemic control if used by enough people.” In The Lancet, Singapore-based researchers conclude that contact tracing technology is “essential to minimise the risk of widespread transmission in the community.”
This has nothing to do with politics. We should also add that we do not represent anyone. Please do not be blinded by politics when taking the decision to install this app.
We need to understand that almost every country in the world has some sort of technology tracing. Some countries, like China, South Korea, Iran, Taiwan, Poland, and others are tracking individuals using invasive technologies. Austria, Belgium, Italy, Germany and others have paired with telecom companies to access telephone data to map people’s movements. We do not want that. Our government took a completely different approach going to the other direction, inspired by Singapore.
It is useful to have a debate about privacy concerns, but it is important to fight misinformation. There are now 53 contact tracing apps used worldwide, but only 7 of them use privacy-preserving Bluetooth technology and Australia is one of them. Hundreds of Australian technology experts and a panel of the country’s top cyber security experts have already endorsed the privacy-preserving features of this app. The app is safe. In fact, we think that this is very likely to be the safest and most privacy-preserving app that we have ever installed on our phones.
There seems to be a widespread misconception about what the app does. COVIDSafe does not track your movement – it traces your contact with other individuals with whom you were exposed for a prolonged period of time. If you test positive, then upon your consent these contacts who are likely to be your friends, family and colleagues, will get a notification prompting them to test for the virus. These people will not know that the notification is coming from you.
We believe that acting quickly is crucial because of two important reasons:
- People have a short window of time to think about this, especially during such trying times when we tend to move on quickly to more positive thoughts.
- It will become increasingly hard to change people’s decision to sign up if they see that the majority has also not downloaded the app yet.
Please sign up to COVIDSafe and help keep everyone safe. Then, we can go back to our lives again. Please ask yourselves:
Is it worth not downloading the app right now, therefore suffering longer times until we get back to business and life, deteriorating well-being, and risking a second wave?