Tag Archives: privacy

Will you download coronavirus tracking app?

If it meant pandemic travel restrictions could be eased, would you download the Federal Government’s coming TraceTogether coronavirus tracking phone app?

We want your opinion, so please take part in our poll at the end of this article. Results will be released next week.

Click here for the results of our pandemic attitudes survey.

TraceTogether App

The TraceTogether opt-in app is expected to be rolled out in the next two weeks.

It uses GPS tracking and Bluetooth technology to record contact with people, even if you do not know them.

The app would identify and trace people who tested positive for coronavirus and alert people who spent more than 15 minutes in close proximity to an infected person.

Other details are not yet available on the app, but some apps overseas alert people when they are entering a coronavirus hotspot.

The app requires a 40% take-up rate to be effective. It will be similar to the TraceTogether app used in Singapore (below) where the take-up rate has only been 20%.

Tracking app

Now, Australians and riders, in particular, love their freedom and have historically rebelled against civil liberties infringements, such as the current Draconian Personal Infringement Notices (PINs) or on-the-spot fines.

So we don’t expect we would have a higher take-up rate than Singapore where the app has anonymous ID.

If the government wants 40% of Australians to download the app, then they should consider offering inducements.

They could include the freeing-up of travel restrictions.

If that’s the case, we would like to see motorcyclists allowed to ride solo for leisure, so long as they observe other rules such as social distancing, personal hygiene, staying within state borders and no overnight trips.

If the authorities were worried about too many app users heading out for a ride, fishing, surfing, etc, maybe they could send out an alert to a certain percentage of users on particular days saying they are allowed out.

Then, if they were intercepted by police, they would have proof that they are legally allowed out of home detention.

Some European countries have a similar system to restrict travel into the CBD during peak hours based on the last number in their number plate.

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Orwellian dystopia

It all sounds like some Dystopian Hollywood blockbuster film, but these are unusual times and perhaps it is time to start thinking along these lines.

The alternative is staying home, losing your job, getting depressed, drinking too much, etc.

Our concern is that the current Orwellian measures and extra police powers will not be rolled back when the pandemic ends.

However, surely with an app, you can simply opt out again and regain your freedoms and civil liberties.

Several countries are working on or have introduced similar apps.

Most are very intrusive.

However, Germany is working on an app with a rolling ID code that changes frequently to protect your privacy but still allow tracking.

Coronavirus tracking app poll

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ride-sharing app Tonit values privacy

There are many ride-sharing apps available, but Tonit adds a feature to ensure that riders protect their privacy and don’t incriminate themselves or void their insurance.

Tonit spokesman Alexandra Pony says users do not need to use the app’s tracking feature which only shows the route and speed.

Privacy rules

Riders can also choose to track their ride, but can keep them private on their profile.

“No one can view the rides they go on and/or access any of this info unless one chooses to make their rides public,” Alexander says.

“Also, riders can choose what info they’d like to keep — eg speeds, routes, etc. So a rider can opt to delete their speed from their profile.”Ride-sharing app Toni values privacy

When tracking rides/ride sharing (this feature is yet to be released) riders will be able to share their location in real time with friends.

“This feature will be 100% up to the rider and will require approval from both parties before sharing live locations,” he says.

“There will be a duration and route preset so that it automatically stops once the ride is over.

“We’re riders too and know the risks. Our goal is to create a great community to share experiences and connect with other riders.” 

Global community

Ride-sharing apps such as Rever, EatSleepRIDE and Riser are focused on GPS maps and tracking, allowing riders to download and use when offline.

Tonit is focused on building a global community, says Alexander.

The free Android and iOS app launched in November 2019 and already has 119,000 downloads and 86,000 active users. It hit #1 trending lifestyle app on Google Play in April.

The Tonit social hub allows motorcyclists to “meet, mingle and enjoy each other’s rides and experiences”.

It has an Instagram-style feed which allows riders to posts pics, tips and tricks, offer advice, and track and share their favourite routes.

Riders can also find other riders in their area and chat within the app to plan rides and create or join a variety of clubs that suit their style of riding.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com