Essential Report

Government Covid-19 tracking app

Apr 21, 2020

Q. The Federal Government is developing an app to help stop the spread of Covid-19. The TraceTogether app will track a person’s movements by GPS and record if that person comes into contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive.

People have to voluntarily opt-in to download the app onto their mobile phones before their movements can be tracked. Once logged in, the app would track you wherever you went.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about this proposed technology?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
I would be uncomfortable if the government was able to track all my movements via an app on my mobile phone 57% 23% 28% 29% 21% 13% 10%
This app would help limit the spread of Covid-19 52% 17% 17% 34% 32% 10% 7%
This app would speed up the removal of physical distancing restrictions 42% 18% 13% 29% 39% 11% 7%
I would download this app onto my mobile phone 38% 33% 15% 23% 28% 14% 19%
I would be concerned with the security of my personal data if this app was on my phone 63% 17% 32% 31% 20% 11% 6%
I’m confident the government will not misuse any data it collects about me via the app 35% 36% 12% 23% 29% 19% 17%
  •  38% of people agree (strongly/somewhat) that they would download the proposed app to track the spread of Covid-19, 33% of the population disagree.
  • Younger people aged 18-34 are more likely to agree they would download the app (44%) than those aged over 35 (35%). 18-34 year olds are also more likely to agree that the app would help stop the spread of the disease (47%) than those aged over 35 (40%).
  • There are security and privacy concerns about the app, with 63% concerned about the security of their personal data. 57% are uncomfortable with the government tracking movements and just 35% confident the government can be trusted not to misuse collected data.


Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

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