AustraliaThe CovidSafe app has been canceled and declared a “failure” just two years after launching at huge expense in the previous Scott Morrison the government.
On Wednesday, Health Secretary Mark Butler urged people to remove the app and called it a “colossal waste of more than $21 million of taxpayers’ money.”
The CovidSafe app was launched in 2020 at the height of the pandemic by former prime minister Scott Morrison, who called it “as important as putting on sunscreen”.
The app cost the government A$21m (£12.2m) to manufacture, deploy and deploy, and was designed to help manually identify contact tracing devices Corona virus infection covid infections around them.
However, Mr Butler said the program had only successfully identified two positive infections that were not found by manual contact tracing, with each infection costing more than A$10 million.
It also identified 17 close contacts in New South Wales who were not identified by manual contact tracing methods.
“It is clear that this app did not work as a public health measure and that is why we have taken steps to remove it,” the minister said.
The application was riddled with technical difficulties, including requiring iPhone users to keep their phones unlocked at all times, bug issues, and the fact that users had to actively give permission for their data to be added and used.
Experts have also questioned the effectiveness of the Bluetooth tracking method, which most of the time doesn’t work.
The app will be officially shut down on August 16, but on Tuesday night it was updated to remove all of its features. Users who open the app are now greeted with the message: “Please remove CovidSafe.”
In accordance with Anthony Albanese government, the last date data was uploaded to the national CovidSafe app was May 2021, and government agencies did not have access to the data repository until 2022.
However, the program continued to operate at an ongoing cost of about $75,000 per month of taxpayer money. The app cost about $10 million in development, $7 million in advertising and marketing, and more than $2 million in staff.
The Australian government switched to QR codes and contact tracing apps in 2021 after restrictions were lifted. At the time, experts expected the technology to be integrated into the app. But this did not happen.
Analysis published Lancet Public Health The journal concluded that CovidSafe created additional work for contact tracing and did not make a significant contribution to Australia’s response to Covid.