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Four in 10 Australians will share GPS data for alerting

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, 40% of Australians are likely to share GPS data with the government to facilitate alerting, new study finds

Some 40% of Australians are likely to share GPS data with the government to facilitate alerting, with only 8% concerned with the government’s ability to manage security, a new study has found.

And when it comes to sharing GPS data with employers, 35% said they would do so, according to the study by Everbridge, a critical event management technology supplier, which polled more than 1,000 respondents in Australia.

As for personal data, less than 6% would not share personal data with their employer, particularly those working in large organisations. Nearly 61% would share their personal phone number and 52% would share their personal email.

By contrast, only 21% would be willing to share their social media accounts with an employer to facilitate alerting.

Javier Colado, head of international at Everbridge, said the research shows the important role businesses have in critical event management, and the reliance that people place on their employer to keep them informed and updated throughout a crisis or business disruption.

“Never has this been more important than right now, when we are faced with the enormous challenges of the coronavirus outbreak,” said Colado.

“We believe this research indicates the need for organisations to have access to risk data from multiple sources in near-real time, to rapidly and seamlessly determine the relevance of a threat, track the execution of response plans and procedures, inform stakeholders, and to analyse their performance to provide clarity during chaos.”

In general, the research found that the bigger the company, the more it was trusted by employees as a source of information.

Almost 60% of Australian respondents found their employer to be a reliable source of information during an incident, and in larger companies of over 1,000 employees, this number rose to 69.3%.

Read more about Covid-19 developments in Australia

Only 11% of respondents thought their employer was unreliable in this regard. But more than 27% of businesses have no alerting system at all – even though nearly eight in 10 respondents were open to receiving updates.

Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the Australian government and healthcare organisations can contact citizens by phone, email or text to relay public health messages without consent. Employers also have a legal duty to protect their staff.

On 27 April 2020, the Australian government released CovidSafe, a voluntary contact-tracing app that had been downloaded more than 1.1 million times the next morning. The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) recently released the source code for the app on GitHub to ensure the privacy of individuals and the integrity of the overall system.

The DTA said it will iteratively enhance CovidSafe and is planning the next couple of releases to improve the app’s security, usability and accessibility. It is expected to update the app later this week.

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