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The COVIDSafe app – What you need to know

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The Federal government is now using social media to inform Australians about coronaviurs health advice and the measures the being used to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Over one million Australians have already downloaded the COVIDSafe coronavirus tracking app as confirmed cases continue to drop.

The Australian government launched COVIDSafe yesterday evening in a bid to identify anyone who may have come in contact with an infected person.

The app only works on smartphones and can be downloaded from either the Apple or Google app store.

The federal government has launched its coronavirus tracing app.

How to download COVIDSafe

Downloading the app is voluntary, and it helps identify people who may have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19.

If they have, they can be advised to take measures to help stop the spread of the disease or get tested.

Users register with the app by entering their mobile phone number so they can be contacted by authorities if needed.

The registration process also asks for a name, but Health minister Greg Hunt said you can use a fake name if you hold privacy concerns.

The name ensures health officials who see the information attached to that specific phone are speaking to the right person.

How to download the Australian government's coronavirus app.

Registration also asks for an age range so that officials can prioritise people at greater risk, such as the medically vulnerable and elderly.

It also asks for a postcode to ensure health officials from the right state or territory are directed to you as a point of contact.

Is it safe to use?

Australians are advised that the COVIDSafe app does record certain information.

It will record the phone's encrypted user ID as well as the date and time they came into contact with a potentially infected person.

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It will also record the strength of the Bluetooth signal of the other person you came into contact with. This will be logged every two hours by the national COVIDSafe data store.

The features available in the government's app.

A partnership with messaging service WhatsApp has also been launched, so people can receive and request information.

The COVIDSafe app will not collect any location data and contact data collected will be stored for 21 days, then get deleted.

The Australian Government Department of Health warns that any personal information collected by COVIDSafe will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Biosecurity Determination 202.

There will be criminal penalties for anyone breaches another person's privacy under these acts.

How to access COVIDSafe through WhatsApp

COVIDSafe works in conjunction with WhatsApp, if you don't already have WhatsApp, these are the steps to take:

1.    Open the 'App Store' or Google Play' on your mobile, tablet or desktop.

2.    Search for 'WhatsApp'. Follow the prompts to set up an account.

3.    Open an internet browser and go to 'aus.gov.au/whatsapp'.

4.    Hit the green 'Send button'.

5.    A pop-up will ask: 'Open in WhatsApp?' Select 'Open'.

6.    WhatsApp will open. Read the message and hit 'Send'.

How to get WhatsApp updates on your mobile or tablet.

If you already have WhatsApp downloaded:

1.    Open an internet browser and go to 'aus.gov.au/whatsapp'.

2.    Hit the green 'Send button'.

3.    A pop-up will ask: 'Open in WhatsApp?' Select 'Open'.

4.    WhatsApp will open. Read the message and hit 'Send'

For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the 9News app and set notifications to on at the App Store or Google Play.

You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-scott-morrison-whatsapp-apple-store-app-mobile-information-health-advice/a221a4cb-cc50-4823-9619-66f6aef6e2bb

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