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Topic of trust dominates reader discussion of government’s COVID-19 app

NT didn’t understand the concerns, and earned the respect of 53 readers, writing: “As an information technology security professional, what I find stunning is that people are willing to install apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, Android (Google Maps, Chrome), that do GPS tracking and record search history by default, with no questions asked. But when government wants to use tech for legitimate cause, being public health, with application code that is open sourced, and only uses Bluetooth for proximity tracking (no location data, no search history, no psychometrics like Facebook), they jump on the ‘we don’t want Big Brother’ bandwagon. Why do people have more trust in big companies that are profit-oriented, but don’t trust their government, that goes a step beyond what corporations do by being fully transparent around technology used?”

Eyeroll raised the issue of trust. “As with MyHealth, this government can’t be trusted to protect your data or to not use it for nefarious purposes. They must be kidding themselves if they think reasonably intelligent people are going to cooperate with them on this one. I sure as hell won’t be.”

Tim the Enchanter said: “Governments have had this capability for a long time. This is about permission.” Alan Bolt-Hadley responded, “You’re correct, but those apps are run by companies who put value on the information. The government sees no value in our privacy.”

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Glenn Newton also reflected on the concept of trust. It’s very sad that an Australian government is considered so untrustworthy. Even sadder that there is very good cause for such a lack of trust.”

Mjcpaull agreed. You’re right, Glenn. It is a shocking indictment of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet that trust has completely collapsed. How we navigate out of this mess is a much larger, more important, far-reaching and complex question than dealing with COVID-19.”

Bitconservative summed it up this way. “When it comes to the issue of TRUST, you really should look at the history of the source.”

Online readers of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age made 49,014 comments on 767 stories last week.

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