The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care is asking users to delete the contact tracing app COVIDSafe from their phones as it will be retired after two years.
In a note to users, the department said the app is being scrapped because It is “no longer necessary” to prevent or control the spread of COVID-19.
The COVIDSafe app is currently unavailable for download on the main website app store.
As data storage administrator, the department is also working to delete all COVIDSafe app data, including registrations Information, encrypted user IDs, device diagnostics and contact data from the national COVIDSafe data store. Deleting the app will automatically delete all information from the user’s device.
decided to disclose it in government-backed research The COVIDSafe app was deactivated just months after it was found to be unhelpful to the country’s pandemic response. The NSW study noted lower-than-expected usage of the app; poor diagnostic performance; and low perceived usefulness by public health officials.
Even the federal government admitted last year that COVIDSafe was “very rarely” used by citizens in the first 12 months of its launch. Launched in April 2020, the Bluetooth-based app has around 7 million registered users.