Pauline fires up: ‘Come on, Karl’

 

 

Pauline Hanson and Karl Stefanovic have clashed over the Federal Government's new coronavirus tracing app during a heated segment on the Today show.

The COVIDSafe app, which is now live, is designed to make it much easier for authorities to track anyone an infected person may have come into contact with - but so far it has proven controversial, sparking privacy and security fears.

Using bluetooth technology, COVIDSafe keeps a list of other users you've been within 1.5m of for more than 15 minutes.

While more than one million Australians have so far been willing to download the app and register their details in a bid to help end the virus' stronghold, plenty - including Senator Hanson - have refused, citing mistrust in the Government's handling of their data.

When questioned on her stance by Stefanovic during an appearance on Today this morning, Senator Hanson was blunt.

"I don't want them tracking me. I don't trust the Government," she said, before citing the data retention laws of 2015 and claiming this latest app would also wind up passing personal information into the hands of other companies.

"Why the hell would I let the Government give it to them personally to download my information?" Senator Hanson questioned, causing Stefanovic to fire back with a reminder about civic duty.

"You have a responsibility to the Australian people if we want to try and control this COVID-19 and we want to try to track people," he told her.

 

However, Senator Hanson remained adamant she could guarantee she hadn't been in contact with anyone who was infected.

"I have a responsibility to myself first and foremost. I know damn well that I haven't been around people," she insisted.

"I've been self-isolating. I haven't got the COVID-19, besides when you have only a few cases in the blasted country and they lockdown the whole bloody country still and they want to put this app on your phone when we're on very much on the decrease … Come on, Karl. I don't trust them."

A laughing Stefanovic then joked that anyone tracking his movements would likely find them underwhelming.

"They're going to track me - let me tell you where I go. I go to work. I go home. I go to Woolies. I go home. I go to work. I go home … That's my whole life," he admitted.

Stefanovic out and about near his Mosman home.
Stefanovic out and about near his Mosman home.

During a press conference on Sunday, Health Minister Greg Hunt praised those who had already downloaded the COVIDSafe app.

"As at 10.30 PM, one million Australians have now downloaded and registered for the #CovidSafeapp - please join us and help protect ourselves, our families, each other but above all else our nurses and doctors," Mr Hunt said.

He also pointed out that users would be able to refuse to give authorities access to the data if they chose not to disclose it later.

"If you are diagnosed then you already have voluntary consent for downloading the app but you are asked a second time - only a state public health official can be given access to that data and only after you have then consented for a second time,'' he said.

"In terms of privacy, no person can access what's on their phone, no other person can access what's on your phone. It is also prohibited by law - I have already signed into law, on behalf of the Government, a Biosecurity Act Determination which prevents access, which ensures that the data has to be kept on an Australian server.

"It cannot leave the country, it cannot be accessed by anybody other than a state public health official, it cannot be used for any purpose other than the provision of data for the purposes of finding people with whom you have been in close contact, and it is punishable by jail if there is a breach of that."

Originally published as Pauline fires up: 'Come on, Karl'


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