Australia released a touch tracing app for coronavirus on Sunday, drawing over a million downloads in just a few hours, the BBC reported. COVIDSafe lets apps conduct a “digital handshake” when they come within 5 feet of each other, notifying users if they have been in touch with an infected person for more than 15 minutes.
The Australian Government says that only health authorities should have access to the data stored on its device, and other agencies would not have access to the data legally.
Earlier this month, Apple and Google unveiled a platform for creating open touch tracing applications. Data will be anonymised and the firms agreed to deactivate the program until the virus outbreak was contained. No countries have yet signed up to use the specific system. Missouri’s Sen. Josh Hawley has urged CEOs of the firms to be directly responsible for data collected as part of the project.