The App

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Cromwell started the topic in Saturday, 18 Apr 2020 at 8:24pm

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Cromwell commented Saturday, 18 Apr 2020 at 8:26pm

The App

In the current situation, when the consequences of our actions, for ourselves and others, are suddenly much greater, we need to pay more attention than usual to our decision making processes. To make decisions based on fear, prejudice or impulse is to increase the risk. So let’s weigh up The App, the software the Australian Government would like us to load onto our phones to improve the capacity to rapidly trace new infections.

There is one factor in The App’s favour that should grab your attention. It may save your life. This has to be worth thinking about, particularly if you are in high risk category. The point is simple. The sooner you find out you are infected, the better your chances of surviving. (https://annalsofintensivecare.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s13613-0...). A related point is that the earlier you are detected the less likely you are to spread it to anyone else, most significantly, the people you live with. People such as your spouse and your children.

Another big point in its favour is that if it was taken up at a high rate it would; significantly shorten the time restrictions are in place, allow economic recovery to begin more quickly, save numerous businesses from bankruptcy and reduce unemployment more rapidly. In short, it is the quickest route back to something approaching normality.

The case against The App is based on the argument that it would be an unprecedented intrusion into our privacy that could lead to permanent surveillance. This cannot be ruled out, but if that was the intention of the government, this is a clumsy and ineffective way to go about it. Assume that you are an investigative journalist, hot on the trail of a particularly nasty story about a senior government member. To avoid the identification of your contacts by your phone you would have to…..turn it off. Not exactly rocket science. If your concerns have to do with behaviour that might be personally embarrassing or even criminal, again the solution is ….turn it off.

Given the behaviour of our politicians, of all stripes and kinds, over many decades, extreme skepticism about their motivations is well justified but this is not about the politicians. It is about the expertise of the epidemiologists suggesting that we do this. If Scott Morrison learnt anything from the bushfire crisis it was the political advisability of following expert advice. Of course trust in scientific expertise has been under well funded attack from the fossil fuel industry and various RWNJ organisations for decades. Add to that Russian disinformation campaigns and some may feel that there is no-one they can trust. But weigh it up. Think this through. Ignore the bullshit. Forget the conspiracy theorists. Think for yourself this time.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Saturday, 18 Apr 2020 at 9:04pm

If we are getting on top of it already then I see no reason to employ Scomo’s little tracking device.

They’ll inveigle their bullshit onto us one way or another. It’s the start of the social credit system using the virus as the Trojan horse.

How can it be mandatory unless they’re buying every one a smartphone and paying for data anyway ?

Will it be illegal to wrap your phone in a little portable faraday cage made from a twisties packet ? Or just turning your phone off ?

Apparently it informs you of the proximity within 7-9 metres. What good is that ? The infected person could be three aisles away in the supermarket.

Roystein's picture
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Roystein commented Saturday, 18 Apr 2020 at 8:59pm

No thanks

mattlock's picture
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mattlock commented Saturday, 18 Apr 2020 at 9:02pm

"Think for yourself. Question authority."

morg's picture
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morg commented Saturday, 18 Apr 2020 at 9:28pm

Doesn’t the technology already exist to track all mobile phones? If marketing people can identify via your mobile you’ve been to somewhere like Bunnings, I can’t help but wonder if they could achieve the same objective as the App by getting the telecom companies to do a complete trace on all mobile phones and then when someone gets CV-19, just get their permission to retrace their movements so the health authorities could sms all close proximity mobile phones as user my be potentially infected. As much as we all want privacy I know I would appreciate being invited to get checkup if I’d unknowingly been exposed.

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troppo dichotomy commented Saturday, 18 Apr 2020 at 9:31pm

'The concern is not when machines start thinking like humans,but when humans start thinking like machines.'

Solarvalue's picture
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Solarvalue commented Saturday, 18 Apr 2020 at 10:03pm

A few responses to some misinformation in this thread:

"If we are getting on top of it already then I see no reason to employ Scomo’s little tracking device."

We are getting on top of it but it's taken pretty serious lockdown measures, we are looking at a wait of at least a 18 months before we get a vaccine, and a vaccine might never come (there's never been a vaccine for this type of virus before). So if we want to ease the restrictions, we need to throw everything at this.

"How can it be mandatory unless they’re buying every one a smartphone and paying for data anyway?"

It's not mandatory.

"Apparently it informs you of the proximity within 7-9 metres. What good is that ? The infected person could be three aisles away in the supermarket."

It's highly unlikely you'll be infected unless you are within 1.5 metres of another person for some time. This is what the app is designed to detect.

Horas's picture
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Horas commented Saturday, 18 Apr 2020 at 11:00pm

Always Mattlock.ALWAYS.

Horas

Cromwell's picture
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Cromwell commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 7:43am

Morg, Location Services in iPhones identifies your location and uses it in maps. This is how the maps can show traffic congestion. In my understanding the app would still work with Location Services turned off as it uses bluetooth to detect other phones in the vicinity. If you are worried about surveillance the app is largely irrelevant, think CCTV cameras linked to facial recognition technology. Security services and police forces are already campaigning for it.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 8:29am

They certainly are and that’s why we don’t need to encourage them by using an APP which is unnecessary.

We are beating the virus without the APP therefore we don’t need the APP.

Solarvalue's picture
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Solarvalue commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 8:45am

"We are beating the virus without the APP therefore we don’t need the APP."

We are beating the virus now because of the lockdown restrictions. When these restricitions are lifted, we will need to jump on new outbreaks quickly to prevent the rate of infections rising again (a second wave). That's where the app can help.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 8:49am

Download the APP then.

Like you said , it’s not mandatory.

I choose not to.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 9:22am

I will be downloading the App as soon as its dropped and do my part to help Australia combat the virus and im honestly hoping at least 40% of Australians also will.

Even if i was tracked or whatever, i don't care, im a law abiding citizen i have zero to hide, im sure if anyone wanted they could learn more about me from my online presence anyway or through my mobil phone.

My biggest fear about this app is people are going to spread misinformation and put people off from downloading it and we dont reach 40%, hopefully im wrong though and we see over 50% download it and use it.

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uncle_nico commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 9:27am

Mate the app is for when the restrictions are eased and people start moving around again more freely. It would allow for more targeted lock-downs/isolations, rather than the broad scale measures currently in place. Surely you can see the benefit in that.

morg's picture
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morg commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 9:57am

Thanks #Cromwell. Unlike many I’m actually ok with the App and surveillance for the right reasons. IMHO the App is a much better option than long term isolation or uncontrolled community infection.

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SA Wetdog commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 10:25am

Indo, if Singapore can only get roughly 20% of people downloading a similar app, what do you think the chances of Australia reaching 40 to 50% are? If you were a betting man you might put $1 on it as a rank outsider at about 200 to 1, I think you would lose your $1 investment

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 10:27am

I'd say somewhere between slim and bugger all.

which means it'll be useless.

regardless, social distancing is here to stay.

SA Wetdog's picture
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SA Wetdog commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 10:29am

Exactly the conversation is irrelevant, won't happen

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 10:49am

"Indo, if Singapore can only get roughly 20% of people downloading a similar app, what do you think the chances of Australia reaching 40 to 50% are? If you were a betting man you might put $1 on it as a rank outsider at about 200 to 1, I think you would lose your $1 investment"

Shit that's surprising, i would never predict that i would have thought they would get 70%+

Shit that could mean 5% of Aussies download it.

Hopefully people understand that it's in our best interest and that if we want to live without lockdowns etc that they will download it and make it a success.

Its pretty simple a solution is being put out there and it cost nothing, you can either be part of the solution or part of the reason to keep us under tighter restrictions.

Cromwell's picture
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Cromwell commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 11:22am

Not so sure that the take up will be so low. We have had restrictions for a while now and further to go. I think a lot of people will start to see it as a way out. If you believe in it, talk it up. This matters.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 12:57pm

The take up will be low because no one trusts the government or their hand selected medical representatives.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 1:16pm

"Not so sure that the take up will be so low. We have had restrictions for a while now and further to go. I think a lot of people will start to see it as a way out. If you believe in it, talk it up. This matters."

This is what im kind of hoping happen's, i just worry social media or even media is going to fuel paranoia and scare people into not using it.

Ive already seen Walled Aly has been irresponsible saying on the project saying "It's the three words that put together scare the hell out of me: government tracking device,'

'And this came out of Singapore, right? That's an autocracy.'

Cromwell's picture
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Cromwell commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 1:27pm

At this stage everyone needs to stop playing politics and get over their irrational paranoia. The government has managed the situation better than the UK, most of Europe and the USA. I have a long history of criticising this government and Scott Morrison in particular. but now is not the time. The more political it becomes the greater the risk that they will be forced to reopen too soon with the associated increase in lives lost.

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synchrodogcal commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 1:42pm

Morrison can't even get members of his own government on board, says it all really

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 2:00pm

100% agree BB, its actually been very refreshing through this whole virus thing, that politics hasn't been much of a factor all party's have been supportive of tackling it and media in generally has not tried to bring politics into it or stir up division.

Also its refreshing their hasn't been a strong left or right type view, even all the conspiracy theory crap on social media hasn't been divided into left or right.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 19 Apr 2020 at 2:09pm

I’ll stop viewing Scomo’s actions through a political lens when Scomo ceases being a politician. Actually....I’ll wait till he’s stopped breathing before I rush to that commitment.

The financial support package was political, the resumption of trading will be political and Scomo’s recent comments that Industrial relations reform is a priority tells me that my belief in Scomo being a dyed in the wool political scumbag are well founded.

Excuse me for suspecting that everything he says and does is geared towards disempowering the Australian people.

The fella who lied about holidaying in Hawaii whilst he was meant to be guiding our nation through a crisis , now wants Australians to be accountable for their every step outside.

Him and Herr Dutton......no thanks.

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Johknee commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 4:04pm

Hopefully this will allay the fears of those concerned about privacy...

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-21/cyber-agency-supports-security-co...

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GuySmiley commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 4:25pm

Screen-Shot-2020-04-21-at-4-24-51-pm

Cromwell's picture
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Cromwell commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 4:49pm
indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 5:01pm

I really hope people download and use this, but im so sceptical people will, i saw a FB post the other day asking if people would yes or no, and seriously i counted over 40 replies and not one yes, not even one.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 5:38pm

Cromwell, are you saying that concern over a government tracking device is irrational and playing politics?

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 6:40pm

If people have concerns? what actually are they?

That the government might be able to know where you are? or hack into your phone or something?

If they really needed too, couldn't they do this anyway?

I think it's a bit funny because i see people on social media opposed to the app but i swear ive see the same people letting others know where they are like if they go to some restaurant in the city or when oversees etc.

I personally don't care about the government or police, if they want to find me or know something about me im sure they can already do this.

But id personally never upload/share my location on social media especially if overseas, id be more worried id come home to a burgled house.

Probably happen one day anyway as my missus post on social media 24/7 everywhere she goes.

Cromwell's picture
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Cromwell commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 6:55pm

No Andy I am saying the evidence is clear that this app will (a) reduce the number of deaths (b) speed the recovery (c) will perform exactly as advertised. Rational fears have been comprehensively addressed by the report. The claims about its effects come from the epidemiologists best qualified to assess them. If you want to remain sceptical you need to explain why you do not accept the available evidence.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 6:58pm

Some people bleed authoritarianism and will enact it at the slightest opportunity.

If you don’t concede this just reinforces their opinion that you need someone in authority to put you on the correct path.

Forcibly if needed.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:11pm

You’re quite likely right Cromwell but for a start, the company that expert works for is tied up with $50 million in government funding.
Maybe not so independent.
Yeah I expect it’s legit but I sure as fuck want to do a little due diligence apart from a single ABC article before I give this government (or any other) the thumbs up for taking yet another step towards a surveillance state.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:11pm

If it was ever miss-used, (not sure how) everyone would just delete it from their phones anyway.

Cromwell's picture
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Cromwell commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:16pm

Fair enough. They are a not for profit organisation based on the CSIRO. They have everything to lose (their jobs, professional credibility etc etc) and nothing to gain by not reporting accurately. Now if you want to suggest that those involved would do some underhand, unethical deal with politicians to protect their arses .....disclosure, a close relative of mine spent most of his career in a senior position in the CSIRO....then that would be an egregious slur on a group whose entire careers depend on absolute honesty. Want to permanently ruin your career in any scientific field? Get caught fudging data.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:27pm

Yeah . Good point.

No one in the history of science has ever fudged data .

Or exchanged their integrity for a well paying role.

Just ask the scientists at big tobacco or Enron.

I can’t believe that BB just gave a character reference for every scientist whose ever disputed climate change . Crazy stuff. But apparently, all scientists are beyond reproach because....reputation.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:20pm

I won't be downloading the app, at this stage.

For two reasons.

One: utility. Numbers are incredibly low in this area and seeing as I am not travelling outside the area, in the incredibly rare event that I was subject to community transmission, standard forms of contact tracing would be more than sufficient to let me know.

two: Competence, or the lack of. I have no faith in the govts competence to run the app. Thats' based on bitter experience dealing with them digitally through the MyGov app etc etc.

If things changed on either of those two fronts I'd reconsider.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:24pm

Freeride ....it’s beyond sheer incompetence.

The government is not trustworthy. Full stop.

sypkan's picture
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sypkan commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:28pm

"Add to that Russian disinformation campaigns and some may feel that there is no-one they can trust. But weigh it up. Think this through. Ignore the bullshit. Forget the conspiracy theorists. Think for yourself this time."

...you crack me up!

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:31pm

Nothing to gain by not reporting accurately?
Are you mad?
And heavens no, I would never suggest that some company executive would get involved in underhanded unethical deals with politicians to protect their arses and tens of millions in funding.
My lord, perish the thought.

Cromwell's picture
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Cromwell commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:31pm

Yeh free ride I can understand the first reason. I am in a similar position and at very low risk but believe we should do it anyway. As far as competence goes this is much simpler than running the MyGov web site which has multiple uses and heavy traffic.

sypkan's picture
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sypkan commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:32pm

fwiw, I think the app is very well designed to quell people's privacy concerns, very very well designed

...but I doubt I'll download it, it's about trust, there is little if any left with this government and IT...

nice try, but too little too late scumo

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:34pm

I seriously blame Hollywood for the paranoia.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:36pm

How do you figure they’re a not for profit?
They’re a public company which as far as I know means they’re trading on the stock exchange.
Are you talking nonsense Cromwell?

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:52pm

Personally i think people who don't downloaded the app are being selfish.

If the majority of people download the app Australia has a realistic chance of eliminating the virus totally or worst cases scenario controlling the virus at very low numbers..

If an outbreak does happen only certain areas will have to be locked down again, and people can go on living their lives as close to normal as possible and everyone will benefit financially too.

If we don't get the numbers needed it becomes almost pointless and it's going to be much much harder to get rid of the virus or harder to control.

By not downloading the app you are basically part of the problem and not the solution and only causing possible further disadvantage even further restrictions on the freedoms of yourself and your family.

Cromwell's picture
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Cromwell commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:46pm

I'm not sure who to blame Indo all I know is that I am appalled at the sheer arrogance of those who refuse to accept that the vast majority of people behave with great integrity in their professional lives. We trust government agencies to install all sorts of infra-structure that badly done could cost lives and they overwhelmingly get it right. We trust doctors to deliver honest and reliable diagnoses. We trust our chilcdren into the care of teachers. Yet every smartarse with a keyboard is happy to cast offensive slurs in whatever direction they like without the slightest evidence. Those managing the app are professional scientists. Their integrity is more heavily scutinised than any other group. Obtaining grants or tenured positions is highly competitive and peer review is a chance for your competitors to find fault. One suggestion of falsified results and you will never be published or hold a position in the sciences again........but hey why not go with your fears or that random dude on Facebook with a (minimally) plausible load of bullshit. FFS people, if you haven't the wit or skills to to separate the bullshit from the truth maybe you should try harder.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:47pm

And I blame TV for the complacency.

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sypkan commented Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020 at 7:49pm

nothing to do with paranoia or hollywoid indo, it's about trust and a feeling of alliance, I have niether with scumo

and strangely probably even less with albo..