COVID-19 app: Government wants what it never protects

TO track or not to track?

A proposed mobile phone app to trace coronavirus outbreaks via bluetooth has become a lightning rod, and not without good reason.

I get why the app's important.

RELATED

* Wide Bay MP 'wary' of PM's 'intrusive' phone tracing plan

* Controversial plan to stop virus spread

I also get governments have obliterated their credibility when it comes to privacy.

Since metadata retention laws were introduced, stories of illegal police searches keep popping up like a Whack-A-Mole.

 

The Federal Government has continued to reach further and further into people’s private online data over the past few years.
The Federal Government has continued to reach further and further into people’s private online data over the past few years.

 

Then there's the 2018 anti-encryption bill - shredded by cybersecurity experts but passed anyway - and the ongoing idea to turn the foreign spying agency on Australian citizens.

And now they have to sell the public on what is, at its heart, a surveillance app?

It's like asking Dracula to run a blood drive.

So I suggest a compromise.

Public servants who attempt to illegally access people’s private online data should have the book thrown at them – much like the public does when it’s accused of breaching social distancing laws.
Public servants who attempt to illegally access people’s private online data should have the book thrown at them – much like the public does when it’s accused of breaching social distancing laws.

Since the public faces stiff social distancing fines, I propose any public servant or government official caught accessing data they're not allowed to, they must be suspended, hauled to court and - if found guilty - sacked and fined $50,000? If you want the public's trust, you'd better do something to earn it.

Because when it comes to privacy protection, they have as much credibility as I have hair on the back of my head.

And it's thinning fast.

Gympie Times

5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

OPINION: Our journos have been covering news that matters on the Northern Rivers...

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Queensland border: Opening with NSW in November may be in doubt

FLYING HIGH: Number of flights into Ballina set to jump

Premium Content FLYING HIGH: Number of flights into Ballina set to jump

Ballina airport is going gangbusters, with the number of flights set to increase by...