Strengthening privacy protections for COVIDSafe app users

26 May 2020

Today’s update to the COVIDSafe application includes accessibility and security enhancements that further strengthen the privacy of users.

As we continue to iteratively enhance the COVIDSafe app, protecting the privacy of Australians is at the forefront of our efforts.

Today’s update to the COVIDSafe app builds on previous releases and delivers strengthened privacy as well as enhanced accessibility. The update will be progressively made available to users through the App Stores from today.

We will continue to update the app, based on internal reviews and feedback from users and the technology community.

We strongly encourage all Australians using COVIDSafe to update the app and benefit from the new changes.

Details of COVIDSafe update

Enhanced accessibility 

Today’s release improves accessibility for people who use text to speech technology, which helps them navigate and use the COVIDSafe application.

Improvements include better descriptions of fields within the app, such as the age range selection when registering, and better recognition of back arrows.

Strengthened privacy protections

We have also introduced new measures to the Bluetooth contact tracing protocol to further enhance the protection and anonymity of users by allowing the removal of Android device names. We have also added an extra layer of encryption for the digital handshake.

We would like to thank the members of the community, including software developers and researchers, who have worked with us in addressing these issues.

Source code update and next release

The application source code, which is available to the public, has been updated in line with today’s release. We are currently working on the next COVIDSafe update, which will be released in June.

Visit the COVIDSafe website for more information or to access the source code for the COVIDSafe application.

For media enquiries email us at media@dta.gov.au or call 0438 156 883

For other enquiries email us at info@dta.gov.au