Paul Brislen on the COVID-19 tracing app: Data remains private and is "incredibly safe"

coronavirus 20/05/2020

Paul Brislen joins Peter Williams to provide insight into the safety and privacy of the COVID-19 tracing app.

Brislen reassures that as for your personal data, it remains private.

Unlike the Australian contract-tracing app which tracks your physical location via Bluetooth, the New Zealand alternative is more of a manual 'digital diary'.

"The data doesn't go anywhere. The information stays on your phone."

"You use [the app] as a memory prompt [incase you test postive], literally a digital diary."

"It's incredibly safe, no one has access to it except you."

As for the comparison to what they've rolled out across the ditch, Brislen continues.

"It's great in theory, but in practice, there are a lot of problems with it."

Williams questions the functionality, confirming that when two devices with the app installed are in contact with each other for longer than 15 minutes, it registers and alerts the app holder.

"The way Google and Apple handle Bluetooth within the phone is different so it doesn't necessarily work."

"Theirs is a much more technologically advanced solution, but it's not actually working."

"It's got to tick that box on privacy, it's got to tick that box on useability, but it's also got to tick the box on actually working and doing what it's meant to do."

For the full interview, listen to the audio above.