Australia urges use of coronavirus-tracking phone app, but says it’s not mandatory

A staged photo of a person using the Australian government coronavirus tracking app on a phone in Brisbane, Australia, 18 April 2020. The Australian government’s coronavirus tracing app which would track and use data from people’s phones to inform health authorities of close contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
EPA/Darren England Australia and New Zealand Out

Date Published: April 18, 2020

Source: Global News

The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, announced today that the proposed movement-tracking app which would enable the government to detect potential new outbreaks, will not be mandatory. He states on his Twitter account that “We will be seeking the cooperation and support of Australians to download the app to help our health workers, to protect our community and help get our economy going again.” The news comes after facing criticism from the public of the app being an invasion of privacy and concerns of governmental surveillance. The app is set to be ready within a couple of weeks and will help guide policymakers potentially loosen up some of the social distancing measures. Australia recorded 36 new cases today, bringing the total number of cases to 6,533, according to the health ministry data. 

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Summary by: Joseph Chon