On 28 April the Pearcey Foundation released a Discussion Paper on the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe tracing app. The paper can be found on here on this site.
The purpose of a Discussion Paper is to encourage discussion. That is just what has happened. There was a substantial response, with articles in the press, the whole paper included with the Engineers Australia newsletter, and dozens of emails from the technology community.
The Pearcey Foundation would like to thank everybody who took the time to comment. Many of these observations are important contributions to the debate. This Response Paper summarises these views and looks at the issues they have raised in light of subsequent developments. We also include many references to articles and other material about COVIDSafe.
This COVIDSafe App Response Paper is presented in the form of a number of questions, with relevant comments and references. We repeat our recommendation for all Australians to download and use the app. Our original conclusion that the advantages far outweigh the concerns still stands. Indeed, it has been strengthened by the responses we have received and subsequent events.
In conclusion, the Pearcey Foundation believes that many of the concerns over the security and privacy of the COVIDSafe app have some justification, but they are minor compared to the benefits from the widespread use of the app. Similarly, any technical issues are comparatively insignificant.
We recommend that all Australians download and activate the app.
Wayne Fitzsimmons OAM
Chair, Pearcey Foundation
+61 418 382 625