There hasn’t been one complaint made about the COVIDSafe app to Australia’s information and privacy commissioner in the year since it was released.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) says it hasn’t received any complaints or data breach notifications about the COVIDSafe app over the last six months, although there have been enquiries raising general issues and concerns.
These included an inquiry about changes to the Privacy Act and an enquiry from a person who wanted to delete data from the national COVIDSafe Data Store.
The latest six-monthly COVIDSafe Report says there were 14 enquiries about the app between November 16 and May 15.
Ten of the enquiries raised general issues or concerns and four related to a request to download or use the app.
Privacy rights and obligations
“We continue to engage closely with Australian Government agencies and state and territory health authorities to assess implementation of the COVIDSafe privacy protections,” Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said in statement.
“Our assessment program is examining the handling of COVID app data throughout the information lifecycle, from notification, collection, use and storage to access and deletion.
“My office is also continuing to promote our COVIDSafe guidance to increase awareness and understanding of the system’s privacy rights and obligations.”
The federal government launched the voluntary COVIDSafe app on 27 April 2020.
In May 2020, the OAIC was given additional functions and powers in relation to COVIDSafe and the Commissioner must report every six months on the performance of the functions and the exercise of the new powers.
The first COVIDSafe report published in November 2020 reported 11 enquiries and no complaints.
Enquiries related to the legal basis of the app as well as enquiries about installation of the app being a condition of entry to a worksite, an educational institution requiring students to download it and a sports club asking members of they had it.
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