Victorian health officials access coronavirus patient's COVIDSafe app data for first time

Oh Great The COVIDSafe App Isn’t Working Properly After 3 Weeks Due To “Technical Issues”

Oh Great The COVIDSafe App Isn’t Working Properly After 3 Weeks Due To “Technical Issues”

Health authorities in both states have revealed that they have accessed tracing data from the Federal Government's COVIDSafe app for the first time in order to determine who has come into contact with suspected coronavirus cases.

The smartphone app uses Bluetooth to detect when users have been near other smartphones with the app to help track down others who may have been exposed to the virus.

While it's faced backlash over glitching and some Australians have point-blank refused to download the app over concern for their privacy, it's the first time Victorian health officials have employed the app.

The health departments of Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia all confirmed to 7News they haven't used the app at all.

As for its part, NSW Health said they are still "evaluating" the app and will use it when new COVID-19 cases identified show potential contacts.

It is not known whether other app users were in close proximity to the infected patient.

Last week, state health and wellness division contact tracers obtained training in exactly how to gain access to the data, however no states have actually yet reported utilizing the data for contact tracing.

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"Victoria has legislated privacy obligations when handling citizens' private data or health data and these obligations will be adhered to".

The department told 9News staff are dealing with "technical issues that mean they can not use the data from the app to trace the contacts of an infected person, which is the primary objective". "We hope this continues".

That data is then stored on a person's phone for up to 21 days.

Launched by the Australian Health Department in April as part of its efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus, COVIDSafe has been downloaded by over 5.87 million Australians.

"It is really important that we utilise all potential sources of information to augment our current contact tracing processes and this really does have the potential to be very useful on that front".

"No, we haven't had any detections through the CovidSafe app to date", he confirmed.

Federal and state leaders and health authorities have repeatedly urged Australians to download the app, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying: "The first job of the COVIDSafe app is to keep you safe".

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