The COVIDSafe app - what you need to know

The government's new voluntary coronavirus tracing app 'COVIDSafe' was launched on Sunday.
The government's new voluntary coronavirus tracing app 'COVIDSafe' was launched on Sunday.

The COVID-19 contact tracing app is called COVIDSafe.

It only works on smartphones and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google app stores.

Use of the app is voluntary.


* To identify people who may have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 so that they can be advised to take measures to help stop the spread of the disease or get tested.


Registration will require users to input their:

* mobile phone number - so they can be contacted if needed for contact tracing.

* name - so the relevant health officials can confirm they are speaking to the right person, although the Health Minister says you can use a fake name if you want.

* age range - so health officials can prioritise cases for contact tracing.

* postcode - to make sure health officials from the right state and territory are dealing with your case.


The app will record the following contact data:

* the encrypted user ID.

* date and time of the contact.

* the Bluetooth signal strength of other COVIDSafe users you come into contact with. This will be logged every two hours in the National COVIDSafe data store.

* No location data will be collected at any time.

* Contact data stored on a device will be deleted after 21 days.

* All data stored will be deleted once the pandemic has concluded.


* Personal information collected via COVIDSafe will handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Biosecurity Determination 2020.

* There will be criminal penalties and anyone breaches someone's privacy.

(Source - Australian Government Department of Health)

Australian Associated Press