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economic and social impacts of COVID-19, links to relevant public statements made by the Prime Minister or by the responsible committee and officials within the Department of Health, and links to COVID-19 information for each of the states and territories. In addition, the Info App provides an option for people to ‘register isolation’—that is, those who are self-isolating may volunteer personal information for the stated purpose of ‘help[ing] Commonwealth, state and territory governments to put in place appropriate steps’ to ‘[s]afeguard public health and safety’ and ‘conduct appropriate analysis and research’, and to contact the people so registered if necessary. An ‘advice in your language’ section directs users to a Department of Home Affairs website offering access to COVID-19-related government advice and information in 63 languages other than English, as well as to additional resources made available by SBS, the national public television, radio and online broadcasting network dedicated to multilingual broadcasting. Subscribers to the Australian Government’s WhatsApp channel can obtain information and links of these kinds, and travel advice. Subscribers are also invited to share a link to the WhatsApp channel, to protect themselves, their family, friends and community. In late April 2020, the Australian Federal Government launched an automated, mobile contact-tracing application (the ‘Tracing App’).1 This was reported to be similar to, and possibly based on source code from, the Singapore TraceTogether app.2 The Tracing App works by using Bluetooth to register any other app-loaded mobile phone with which an app-loaded phone comes into proximity (1.5 metres or closer) for at least 15 minutes.3 The two phones in question will, via the apps, exchange anonymised IDs, which will then be stored encrypted on both phones for a period of 21 days, after which they will be deleted. Downloading of the app is voluntary, but promoted by the Federal Government with a view to reaching a stated target of 40% of the nation’s mobile-phone-subscriber population. This goal is significantly higher than the take-up of the comparable app in DISPATCHES

Profile for Meatspace Press

Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives  

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how social, economic, and political power is created, exerted, and extended through technology. Through c...

Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives  

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how social, economic, and political power is created, exerted, and extended through technology. Through c...

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