back to article Australia's contact-tracing app still basically borked on iOS, says new bug report – and GAPPLE API version tested

Australia's "COVIDSafe" contact-tracing app appears still to have problems with Apple's iOS. In a Sunday appearance on local political talking heads show Insiders, health minister Greg Hunt was asked if the app has been used in anger, and if it is still hobbled by the by-design Bluetooth proximity detection limits in iOS that …

  1. Mellipop

    some tech journalism please

    that bug report is not major and with updates happening as frequently as reported, it's probably fixed by now.

    here's a novel idea.

    instead of sensationalising the failures, why not be responsible.

    this pandemic is something we all should be working to bring to an end.

    an obvious question after reading the bug report was : What is the update frequency of TempID?

    Could there be a failsafe mechanism, as well as change the keychain access parameter?

    we read the Reg because we know, like and sometimes trust technology. please don't duplicate what other journalists do.

    1. Totally not a Cylon
      IT Angle

      Re: some tech journalism please

      Downvoted because:

      Apple & Google have developed a way of doing this which doesn't compromise battery life (too much) or user privacy and yet various Governments wnat more tracking and are using a cobbled together centralised thing which actually breaks a few 'programming rules' for iOS.

      All the Governements have to do is use the approved api and their trackers work, but they don't get to see the info which they desperately want for reasons unrelated to public health.

      The fact Apple & Google have managed to work together should convince everyone to use the damn api they've made not cobble together their own.......

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: some tech journalism please

        Having had a look at the GAPPLE api I estimated a week to get an app up and running on my own. Unfortunately I'm not a government so neither of them would let me publish it but that shows the sheer incompetence of government IT programmes.

    2. john.jones.name
      Mushroom

      Re: some tech journalism please

      actually I rather like someone in the tech press actually following up on stories

      (I used to call it journalism/professionalism)

      if your actually interested in the background I suggest you research using the information in the article as a starting point, that's what I did and found this :

      COVIDSafe's new payload encryption scheme :

      https://github.com/vteague/contactTracing

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: some tech journalism please

      The whole point of the app is to record people near you who are using the app. If the bug prevents people around you from recording that you are near, how is this not major?

      It's also described as a 'New bug' - at least, the bug report is new but the issue has been there since the first release. So I'm not sure why you would assert that it's 'probably already been fixed'. And even if it has been fixed now, it's been malfunctioning from the get-go which means the data that has supposedly been collected is actually full of holes. And mainly so, from what I can see, because of known security restrictions in the way iOS allows apps to operate that have been deliberately ignored in the race to 'Do Something'

      I'm all for supporting efforts to trace potential Covid-19 victims, especially as we look down the tracks to the rapidly approaching second wave. But defending this app in its current form at any cost is not helpful and actually counterproductive. We shouldn't pretend that serious bugs and deficiencies aren't a problem when we are relying on public goodwill and confidence to generate an adequate userbase, particularly as public complacency reaches new heights..

  2. Roopee
    Happy

    RE Gapple

    Surely "Goople" would be fairer?

    1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

      Re: RE Gapple

      I prefer Apploogle

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Incompetent Aus Federal Government

    Saved by extremely low COVID infection rate in Australia.

    The app is just window dressing to make everyone think they are doing something.

    The State governments, NSW aside, have been the ones to stop the virus spread.

    1. julian.smith
      Holmes

      Re: Incompetent Aus Federal Government v WA Government

      The falsely named, failed "CoronaSafe" app is more BS from Scotty from Marketing

      Meanwhile in WA the Premier (Mr 89% approval) has it nicely under control.

      Community transmission? We've heard of it

      Border control? We do it.

      When other States have zero cases, call. Until then POQ

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Incompetent Aus Federal Government

      Australia also made covid testing very accessible from the get go. Not just in terms of volume but also convenience with lots of easily accessible walk in testing sites.

      It’s June and we still haven’t figured that out where I live in Toronto. People here without cars are forced to take public transit over longer distances to get to a centralized testing site. Our infection rates are still pretty high.

    3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: Incompetent Aus Federal Government

      I suggest you read your Constitution, mate.

      Or are you suggesting that the Federal Government should break the law?

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