Some quick thoughts I chucked up on Facebook to get peoples opinions on the new COVIDSafe app released by the Australian government, and my ultimate decision.
Ok everyone, give me your point of view on the Coronavirus tracking app.
I am most likely going to get it, because I feel like this is an important way for us to tackle the health emergency we are all living through.
I get that there can be privacy issues, but considering the amount of my data already being mined by corporations, I am willing to give up a bit more for the good of our nation’s health. And if there ever is a push for this data being used elsewhere by the government down the track, we can always delete the app. And if that becomes a problem (i.e. we are forced to keep the app), then this is a whole new battle for a different day.
I mean I know it is a lot to trust the government with, but at this point in history if we don’t put this kind of faith in the government, then we are in trouble. If we step up and take on this duty, perhaps our government will step up and earn it.
What is everyone thinking?
I got some good replies, with I think a lot of people like myself who are cautious, but willing to do what they feel is the right thing. Overall I was glad to see so many rational thoughts on the subject, and no conspiracy theory rants and anti-government tirades.
My final thoughts as posted in reply:
Thanks everyone for your comments. At the end of the day I see the trade off I am making by getting this app as being more positive than the negative. While I see the risks in giving out more data to a government that has not been good at managing our data in the past, they are also the only government we have at the moment, and this is the moment in history we find ourselves in.
Furthermore, as far as i can tell, this app doesn’t actually track your location, but instead simply logs contact between other users of the app and reports these to a central database, so that these contact points can be utilised down the track to follow any infections. And this reporting is also something that you op in to. So the data isn’t even as significant as being able to track where you are, or have been, and seems to be quite voluntary in its dissemination.
And if the worst case scenario simply means that we have to be vigilant for any future changes or overreach, I am fine with that; keeping an eye on what our government is doing is kind of our job as a populus anyway.
So I am going to get the app. I would encourage you to as well, but I understand if you don’t. This isn’t like social distancing, where I think you have a moral imperative to take this action, or proper washing of hands, where it is just stupid not to join in. This is more of a ‘if you want things to get better quicker, do this’ kind of thing.
But hey, I am an introvert anyway, so social isolation is suiting me quite well.
Anyone else have any interesting takes? I would love to see them try and release this kind of app in the United States with their current government/electorate.