‘Snowflake’s chance in hell’: Barnaby Joyce REFUSES to use government’s new coronavirus tracking app over privacy fears
- Mr Joyce told reporters he wants the government to know very little about him
- Llew O’Brien and said there’s a ‘snowflake’s chance in hell’ he would use the app
- The app alerts people if they’ve come into contact with an infected person
- At least 40 per cent of the population would need to install it to see results
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Nationals MP and former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce spoke spoken out publicly against the tracking app
A number of federal politicians reportedly won’t download the mobile phone app to help trace people who have been in contact with a coronavirus case, citing privacy concerns.
Nationals MP and former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and Deputy Speaker Llew O’Brien have both spoken out publicly.
‘I treasure the government knowing as little about me as possible,’ Mr Joyce told Nine newspapers on Sunday.
‘Australia is doing an extraordinary job of flattening the curve by reason that we are overwhelmingly decent and logical people. We don’t need an app to tell us that.’
Mr O’Brien said there was a ‘snowflake’s chance in hell’ he would use the app.
‘It is way too Big-Brotherish for me,’ he told News Corp Australia Sunday newspapers.
The contact tracing app would check Bluetooth connections made by the phone of someone with the virus while they were contagious.
Deputy Speaker Llew O’Brien said there was a ‘snowflake’s chance in hell’ he would use the app
At least 40 per cent of the population would need to install it for the results to be effective.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday took to social media to hose down concerns the app would be mandatory, saying government would be seeking the ‘co-operation and support’ of Australians to download the app to help health workers, protect the community and help get the economy going again.
‘The App we are working on to help our health workers trace people who have been in contact with the coronavirus will not be mandatory,’ Mr Morrison tweeted.
At least 40 per cent of the population would need to install it for the results to be effective. Pictured: A woman wears a face mask in Sydney while using her phone
He has also reportedly sent an email to MPs, saying privacy issues are being ‘carefully addressed’, but stressing it’s an important tool to help Australia return to normal.
‘.We need to get people signing up. We all have a role to play here,’ he wrote.
Mr Morrison has said the nation needs to have a broader testing regime, better contact tracing and greater capacity to respond to local outbreaks before governments can look at easing restrictions.
Like Tinder for the coronavirus age: How tracing app actually works
The TraceTogether app uses Bluetooth on mobile phones to link up with other phones nearby.
It is then able to track when two people are in close proximity with one another, providing times, dates and locations.
That information would become useful if one of those people was known to have contracted COVID-19.
If officials need to call upon the data, they can determine who a person’s close contacts are based on the proximity to another person and the length of time spent with them.
‘If you had close contact with a COVID-19 case, whether or not you know the person, TraceTogether helps contact tracers call you more quickly,’ the Singaporean app’s developer states.
‘Being contacted earlier allows us to better protect those around us, reducing the spread of COVID-19.
‘TraceTogether makes it faster to complete contact tracing on a national level. When more people use it, we will be safer together.’
One of the main issues in containing the virus has been the long and labour-intensive process of tracing contacts of people diagnosed with COVID-19.
This system could alleviate hours of work from already over-stretched health officials, making it much easier to find people who may be at risk – and stop them spreading the virus any further.