COVID-Safe: But is everyone downloading it?

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Brad Fullgrabe

With the curve flattening according to health experts and the new release of COVID-safe app by the federal government.

Statistics show more five million people have downloaded the application from the Australian app store within the first week.

The question remains: will everyone download the app to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Associate Professor in computing and security Paul Haskell-Dowland and software expert Ben Aylett gave their top five reasons why people may not download the COVID-Safe app.

1. Lack of trust in our federal government.

With the app monitored by the government, Dowland says some won’t be so fast to jump at the idea.

“There will always be a substantial amount of people that won’t download the app, simply because they don’t trust the government, or suspicious about any form of surveillance,” he said.

Adding to the suspicion is people’s lack of confidence or willingness that the app will be useful.

2. People don’t have the latest technology or can’t afford it.

COVID-Safe is only available to those with the iOS 10.0 or later or for android 6.0 or above.

“Some people can’t install the app because they simply don’t have the technology using an older phone.”

“Older iPhones don’t necessarily have the most up to date software” Dowland said..

3. Older Generations aren’t tech-savvy.

According to a 2019 report by Bankmycell, 69.3% of Australian’s own a smartphone.

Aylett says it’s a great application but it’s also going to have some concerns for those without.

“Elderly or disabled that don’t have the latest smartphone or technology, simply can’t use the app,” he said.

4. Interference with other apps.

“Some issues already with Bluetooth connectivity, minor issues that disrupt connectivity issues with other apps.”

A Concern for Aylett is for the app to be of use it must be on at all times.

“For iPhone users, it has to be running in the foreground; it can’t run in the background of the iPhone.”

5. Restricted to the Australian Appstore.

Those that have international Apple accounts won’t be able to download the application, Dowland said this will restrict several Australians.

“I’ve got the latest software but can’t download the app, because my device is linked to my UK iTunes account.”

 

For more information on COVID-Safe:
https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covidsafe-app