COVIDSafe interferes with other Bluetooth devices

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Submission Name: COVIDSafe interferes with other Bluetooth devices
Status: Not submitted. Requires overview/recommendations to be authored and folks to help to delete non-relevant App Store reviews from the table.
Version: 5416860c24987a6b241515b36b6268c003d03448 on

Select Committee on COVID-19

Terms of Reference

On 8 April 2020 the Senate established the Select Committee on COVID-19 and referred the following matters to it for inquiry and report on or before 30 June 2022:

  • the Australian Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • any related matters.


To members of the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this Senate inquiry. Below you will find a submission related to the COVIDSafe application. We are doing seperate submissions on a per-topic basis to optimize for your reading experience.

Members from the community are available to give in-person evidence to future public (or private) hearings by video conference.

We would appreciate a confirmation of the receipt of this submission and welcomes any feedback you may have. is an online community backed by a team of security researchers, open-source software engineers, community managers and privacy specialists that support the concept of technology based contact tracing.

  • We want to see lives saved through the use of this unprecedented technology.
  • It is crucial to us that privacy and security issues are addressed promptly and communicated in an inclusive and open manner.
  • We believe transparency is essential to achieve both of these goals without compromising either. Compromising privacy risks people’s lives by undermining public trust in the systems built to protect them.
  • This can only be achieved by direct collaboration with engineers using transparent open source platforms as done by the UK National Health Service.

Experts available for in-person evidence

Geoffrey Huntley

🙌 I'm Geoff, the probono open-source software engineer leading the independent analysis of covidsafe via studying the source code. Software that I maintain is inside Microsoft Visual Studio, GitHub, Atlassian Sourcetree, Amazon Drive, Halo, Slack, is heavily used by the financial services industry and has been installed by other software developers over 21 million times.

Photo licensed under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Jim Mussared

I'm a hybrid hardware and software developer, with current professional experience with open-source development and designing/developing BLE-based products for George Robotics. Formerly worked in programming/electronics education at Grok Learning, and before that at Google Australia as a tech lead in the SRE team as well as some time working with the Android team.

My Bluetooth research into contact tracing has received world wide praise. I discovered a Bluetooth security vulrunability (CVE-2020-12856) which requires governments to modify their technological approaches and programs of work.

Photo licensed under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Richard Nelson

I'm a professional software engineer of 16 years, 8 of which have been in mobile app development and leadership. I have a strong interest in infosec, and my research into the iPhone application background behaviour identified a coding error as a contributing factor preventing COVIDSafe from working effectively. I discovered a denial of service vulnerability (CVE-2020–12717) in COVIDSafe.

Photo licensed under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Contact person(s) for this submission

Technical Expert

Name: Jim Mussared


Name: Geoffrey Huntley


Jimmo TODO:

  • explain limitations of bluetooth chipsets
  • explain different phones have different chipsets/antennas
  • reconfirm no special logic for limitation of interferance
  • explain how covidsafe is pushing the upper limits of hardware
  • explain likely reasons why devices are disconnecting


Jimmo TODO:

  • any recommendations Jimmo?

Articles from the media

Geoff TODO:

  • citations

Official comments from the DTA

Geoff TODO:

  • citations

Feedback from Twitter

Reviews from Google Play and Apple App Store

The table below was generated by filtering through the data captured in the Apple App Store Reviews of COVIDSafe Google Play Store Reviews of COVIDSafe senate submissions using the following command:

cat 2020-05-22-covidsafe-apple-reviews.csv  | egrep -i "disconnect|drops|dropping|interfere|diabetes|hearing|aid" | grep -iv "mobile number" > bluetooth-problems-apple-appstore-reviews.csv
cat 2020-05-22-covidsafe-google-reviews.csv  | egrep -i "disconnect|drops|dropping|interfere|diabetes|hearing|aid" | grep -iv "mobile number" > bluetooth-problems-google-appstore-reviews.csv
cat bluetooth-problems-google-appstore-reviews.csv bluetooth-problems-apple-appstore-reviews.csv > bluetooth-problems-appstore-reviews.csv

Any review including the words (case insensitive) "mobile number" or "phone number" were excluded due to the high number reports from people who were unable to register. This problem is explained in the Problems preventing registration in COVIDSafe senate submission.

Finally, some manual cleanup was performed. The raw-data is available to download:

Cassandra Nock 3-May-20 Drains the battery and interferes with other Bluetooth connections (e.g. headphones/speaker constantly cuts in and out as this app scans for other devices). Would be better if this app could be put to sleep manually when not needed like when at home. I'll give it a bit longer to see if you resolve
Petra Hansen 14-May-20 Would love to do anything extra to help with tracing and controlling the spread of the virus but this app sucks the guts out of my battery and majorly interferes with other Bluetooth connections I have to my phone which are non negotiable so unfortunately I'll be uninstalling until I read these issu
Soy Fish 5-May-20 Happy to be helping my community stay safe. In my experience the app does not drain my battery with responsible use. And it does not interfere with my Bluetooth headphones. I cannot believe people who complain about the ease of use security or privacy. I'll give it all up in a heartbeat for even on
Rajesh Anantha Raman 19-May-20 Since I have installed this app my phone keeps getting disconnected from my cars hands free device. It is a bit annoying. I have to unpair my phone and cars hands free and again pair them up. An urgent fix is needed for this issue. Some of my friends and colleagues also are having the same problem.
Vishnu Pratim Goswami 27-Apr-20 Very easy to install. Only bug I faced was - getting an Invalid Phone No. msg many many times was starting to get frustrated. However reading through the reviews found one that said you have to deactivate WiFi so that you get direct access to Mobile data then it worked in a flash. Happy to do my
Nick Hill 12-May-20 Bug identified! This interferes with mobile hotspot and repeatedly causes dropping of signal. Have to turn bluetooth off and therefore disable covid safe to be able to use mobile hotspot function which is how I access internet. Not too bad as I mostly tether at home but it then relies on me remembe
Ivor Green 7-May-20 I like the idea of this app but it is buggy. First of all since installing the app my phone now gets very hot and the battery drains extremely quickly. Also the app interferes with my Bluetooth headphones and keeps interrupting it every minute or so for 5 to 10 seconds. That is very annoying. The bu
Mr Pogi 26-Apr-20 Working perfectly.. Registration straightforward and simple. Am concerned will eat battery.. After reading the reviews from singapore.. The number 1 complaint was it kills your battery life fast.. Some said recharge 3 times in 24 hours.. Time will tell.. Hope this works.. Anything that might help sa
Arvo Elias 5-May-20 No additional battery drain nor interference with 4 other Bluetooth devices. Operates even with lockscreen emergency app overlay. Simple to install and no privacy issues compared to many other country systems. Happy to recommend as a software engineer.
Michael Doran 5-May-20 "Location tracking has been turned on in latest update (040520) - go to the app list in settings to turn location tracking off. If this reverts to on in future" I'm uninstalling the app as this detail is not necessary - and govt have said app will not track location. Trust betrayed??? - sure...
Sheldon Rautenbach 28-Apr-20 Works fine with no issues my original review said it drained battery but after a few days of trying it I can't see a massive issue especially considering my Bluetooth watch is paired to the phone all day anyway. No excuse to not have the app installed now.
Tommy Dennis 12-May-20 Trying to do the right thing was happy to download but have had numerous issues with Bluetooth connectivity especially handsfree in my car which i need for work randomly disconnecting. Have had to uninstall as this is dangerous and distracting while driving.
Ray Bradbury 11-May-20 When in proximity of another phone running the app it causes interference with BT audio devices causing music or podcasts to pause repeatedly for 2 to 5 seconds. Makes it unusable and force stopping it while listening is the only way to stop the interference.
Charlie Ping 26-Apr-20 Worked flawlessly. For those that tried to activate before the government said it was ready it would be nice if you updated your 1 star reviews. And yes the government should have waited to launch it but it's fixed now.
John Tumbridge 29-Apr-20 I see the app as vital as many have said. My issue is that it is stopping my Bluetooth headphones from working. Very frustrating as I keep having to disable the app.
Peter Walker 15-May-20 other Bluetooth wouldn't work especially car connection . Uninstalled app other Bluetooth worked then installed app again and other Bluetooth again not working. Have uninstalled again and Bluetooth divices working again? Thought app didn't interfere with other Bluetooth connections
Ty 27-Apr-20 Interferes with medical equipment. Installed app and app started to interfere with the communication between my insulin pump and CGM blood sugars are now dangerously high posisble hospital admision if i cant get BG's under control. Will not be using this app untill this is resolved
Nicole Gardner 1-May-20 Constantly disconnects bluetooth headphones starting to ask myself whether the app benefits outweighs the constant risk of my phone publically outing my addiction to early Brittney spears. Please fix this bug. Many of us STILL use Bluetooth around others (exercising grocery shopping essential pla
James Clarke 10-May-20 Installed no problem on S9 but I have a smart watch BT for tracking 24/7 in case of seizure when away from home & BT headset to make/receive calls App disconnects headset or watch to handshake other phones all the time. Had to uninstall it.
Jacinta Cox 28-Apr-20 Constantly causing other Bluetooth functions to stop working. If using Bluetooth speakers or headphones audio will cut out due to app doing a scan. App now deleted. Caused far too much interference with other Bluetooth functions
Joanna Does 27-Apr-20 I'm happy to download it but when I try to register it says my ph number is invalid. I've had the same number for over 10 years. I tried uninstalling & reinstalling. Tried dropping the first 0. No luck.
Laura Noble 19-May-20 Bluetooth connectivity with car earphones continues to disconnect since using the app. Please look at fixing this if you want people to use this. I use a Samsung s10.
John Youngman 27-Apr-20 Bluetooth interferences. Continually cuts in over other blue tooth audio systems if streaming. Very frustrating. Force stopped app and interference stopped. Needs to be looked at or we may forget to start it again.
Aidan M 26-Apr-20 After analyzing this app This app uses 2 separate GPS location requests also pulls wifi access point locations and verify them with the GPS requests to determine direct GPS coordinates Pics and proof can be provided Weres the source code you said you would release last week? do not install this go
Chris Henry 6-May-20 Surprisingly good. Uses bugger all battery doesn't interfere with other bluetooth devices. The permanent message is annoying but I have that for my smart watch already so I'm used to it.
Aiden Sobey 27-Apr-20 They say they don't collect location but then require location permissions..? Other than that I think they're being reasonable and upfront about the privacy implications of the app. Do your bit and install it
robert law 27-Apr-20 "Downloaded easily but now phone says connected to null then disconnected from null continuously.... very annoying. NEXT DAY....uninstalled app then re-installed" " annoying null messages have disappeared (hopefully). App now gets 4 stars frm me."
Dan Power 27-Apr-20 I tried to load the app on my wife's phone but it said it was not compatiable. Her phone is about 5 years old and she has no plans on upgrading as it still works fine so she won't be able to participate.
Steve 17-May-20
Jason Derby 4-May-20 no interference with Bluetooth. Unobtrusive despite the constant notification banner.
Aidan Hodges 28-Apr-20 after that it worked perfectly.
Kim Wilkinson 9-May-20 Want to have this app but it interferes with Bluetooth devises like headphones and speakers causing them to glich regularly while trying to listen to things.
Matthew Sands 27-Apr-20 A great initiative backed by robust privacy legislation. Sadly the same can't be said about the government's metadata collection and encryption backdoor programs.
Hamish Cross 30-Apr-20 people who hate the government are saying this is a good idea you have an independent code review who decompiled the app and said it is safe and you have a chance to make your life and those around you safer you have to put aside your fears. If ur worried about data loss do some research about
Lachlan Theobald 1-May-20 Also having the issue where the app will disconnect Bluetooth devices although it is a really good initiative
John Louis 4-May-20 "y S8 - Constantly flashing up a pop up notices Connected to Null / Disconnected from Null Very annoying" Have force stopped this app. Please Fix ASAP.
Marie Mac 9-May-20
Lawrence 27-Apr-20 you've probably given more permissions to some dodgy app you've downloaded that sends you cat memes daily. It's a great initiative and if it means a faster road to recovery great!
Joe Feng 26-Apr-20 Whoever said it is not working needs to know the app is up for running from 6PM. It is all good now. Although I am not sure why they put it up so early.
Simon Queen 28-Apr-20 App is good but it interferes with my Bluetooth handsfree and my BT 🎧. can't receive calls via normal BT.
Byron Brasier 30-Apr-20 After installing app Bluetooth earphones get disconnected every 10mins then reconnected seconds later. Better fix the bug or many people will uninstall app because it's annoying.
Influential Missions 27-Apr-20 and I cannot use it anymore.
william Burke 29-Apr-20 Keeps connecting and disconnecting for nearby Bluetooth sources extremely annoying as it pops up on my screen all the time i will be uninstalling helpfully they will fix it soon
Gail Woodcock 28-Apr-20
Keith Harrison 30-Apr-20 Could of used the MyGovId app for verifying rather than pin. The app seems to interfere with comms to other Bluetooth devices such as headphones
Max and Maree Hume 29-Apr-20 The app interfered with the bluetooth phone connection between my phone and my car. I couldn't make or receive calls on handsfree.
Daniel Gooding 28-Apr-20 App opens and registered no problem. There is interference with using Bluetooth speakers intermittently which only started after installing this app
Carl Hade 8-May-20 My issue is my Bluetooth is cutting out disconnecting me from my watch every 10 seconds... only since ive installed this
Mihai Kaszab 3-May-20
Gregory McCourt 26-Apr-20
RobyQuantum 26-Apr-20 This app uses wifi and mobile network to track your location. They said they weren't going to do this and it even says in the app but it's not true.
29-Apr-20 6
Gary Coe 16-May-20
Steven Goodge 7-May-20 It stuffed my Bluetooth it disconnected my fitbit and anything that is connected buy Bluetooth download it if you don't need Bluetooth
Pink Paws 27-Apr-20 WARNING TO ANY DIABETICS WHO USE A CGM APP VIA BLUETOOTH. This app interferes with app being about to connect with sensor. Uninstalled ap and now dex is working again.
Rosemary M 9-May-20 I have an Android phone and the app keeps dropping out due to battery optimization even though this has been disabled in settings
mohit raghav 30-Apr-20 Disconnects my Bluetooth headsets (Samsung buds Sony XM and Microsoft surface headphones) all have problems
Wally Anglesea 26-Apr-20 A quick install. Easy to understand and there's nothing to be afraid off. Naysayers take off your tinfoil hats
Trish Kartman 27-Apr-20 except when my partner try to download app it said not compatible with this device...
Jarrod Adam 1-May-20 Repeatably displays a messae 'disconnected from null' and then 'connected to null'. Interferes with mobile usage
Jeremy Lai 5-May-20
Leigh Norman 4-May-20 yet I have never been tested and have not been in contact with anyone for over 4 weeks.
Rob Slack 4-May-20
Ryan Kerin 5-May-20 Interferes with Bose 700 Bluetooth headphones so had to disable location permission.
John Protheroe 6-May-20 Constant bluetooth drops and inability to scan. Had to delete to allow earbuds to work
LJ Cruickshank 6-May-20 Interferes with other Bluetooth apps especially connection to car. Deleted.
TheUnknownjustice 3-May-20
Marrion Saunders 27-Apr-20 I don't know if I have registered correctly. The second place for pin number said 'error'. I don't know how to correct this
Owen Gale 26-Apr-20 App requires location permission government only said it needs bluetooth they are hiding something! App removed.
Alex Gunawan 1-May-20
Colin Heussi 9-May-20 When running in the back ground battery optermizer keeps dropping out and app stops working
Australian Hunting Podcast 12-May-20 As Archie Luxury said. You'd have to have rocks in your head to download this app and open it. Big big brother and government tracking at its finest!!
Juliet Rydell 2-May-20 My airpods no longer automatically connect and the disconnect spontaneously since I installed this
Tara Cheyne 26-Apr-20 For those commenting on registration at the press conference they have said it will be open after 6pm today.
Luke Brouwer 30-Apr-20
Tony Moore 26-Apr-20 I want to believe in this app but don't understand why it is asking me to give permission to my location. This aspect needs correcting as the gov't has said location is not required.
Nicole Dance 26-Apr-20 As they said waited until after 6pm and registered no worries. Such a great initiative!
jacqui houston 27-Apr-20
Brett Duncan 26-Apr-20 I have the same issue with registration however greg hunt just said on the news that you can register after 6pm.
David Apelt 26-Apr-20
Max Printz 10-May-20 When active the app interferes with connected bluetooth devices.
Samuel Tuwaidan 28-Apr-20
Brett Thurbon 1-May-20
fluffy gordon 27-Apr-20
Gabriel De Figueiredo 18-May-20 making them inoperative.
Rob Puise 30-Apr-20 Interferes with my blue tooth devices. Otherwise I would use it
Linda Page 29-Apr-20
Sandra Wright 28-Apr-20
mehdi haidari 27-Apr-20
Adelaide Williams 26-Apr-20
Steven j Papa 27-Apr-20
cartoonrob 4-May-20 but I was getting an alert from the app that said my Bluetooth was off when I had been leaving it on. Maybe the app or other Bluetooth devices I was using interfered and switched the Bluetooth off. I couldn't remove the alert or turn the Bluetooth back on. I had to shut down the phon
Jake Donnelly 3-May-20 when playing audio from my Bluetooth ear buds it seems like the app interferes when searching. This causes the audio to cut out every now and again. I have deleted the app due to this issue. Unroll it is fixed it is highly unlikely that i will be re
Rebecca Walker 4-May-20
Samuel Isaacs 5-May-20
Jackson Scarrabelotti 13-May-20 Samsung S9 and I hardly use my phone so rarely charge. Now I need to charge it constantly. Also the app interferes with bluetooth when listening via headphone. Sorry but I tired and this is just ridiculous whoever's built this app needs to get speak to someone who knows what they're doing. If googl
Andrea Beccegato 9-May-20 I tried to download it but uninstalled in 2 minutes. It asks for Bluetooth and location permissions. I'm ok to allow the first one but not to share my GPS. The app said that it needs for the location to be activated. Well I'm not going to do that. if you want me to use this app then just settle
Linda Bell 2-May-20 Installed fine. Interferes with my other Bluetooth use though. I regularly use phone with Bluetooth speakers or earphones and it constantly makes them cut out. Uninstalled and everything working fine again . Need the option to turn app off when home or make it work without interfering with regular b
San Jag 11-May-20 Bluetooth connection goes crazy with this App installed on my Samsung Note 9. When I try to connect my phone to any of my other Bluetooth devices like my external Bluetooth speaker then the phone gets into a continuous loop of scanning for Bluetooth devices connecting and disconnecting. I uninstal
J Google User 26-Apr-20 however I've just tried again now and worked without any issues - pro
Bridget S 2-May-20 every time I would use them. As soon as I uninstalled the app it stopped happening. Very disappointing as I think the app is a great idea (Galaxy S9+)
Brad Buhse 8-May-20 Uses significant amount of battery. Also very annoying when listening to music constant dropping out as a result of this app. Had no issues like this prior to having this app. Uninstalled the app and issue fixed. Fix the problem and I might re install it.
Laura C 30-Apr-20
Tom Maughan 1-May-20 then touching the 'allow' box to given permission to run in background using more battery life. This issue happens every time I use my phone. I have an OPPO Reno Z phone with up to date software.
mark beljaars 26-Apr-20 Sent me a pin after entering my number. Typed the pin exactly as sent. Said it was invalid. Double checked. Yup I got it right. Hit resend pin link and nothing happened nothing I can do except unibstall. Will try to install again. Great idea... Wish it worked:( I tried.
Stephen Hughes 1-May-20 Sick of the app dropping my bluetooth headset connection when it pings out. Fix that issue and I will reinstall. Nothing worse than listening to music or phone conversations and the connection drops because this app is pinging.
Carol Willing 27-Apr-20 same result. Uninstalled app not happy. Installed my husbands app on his phone within a minute no problems.
joseph shin 6-May-20 this messes up my wifi connection at home. It constantly disconnects and re connects wifi making it unstable. It also constantly crashes my Mercedes Me app which is really annoying.
Jess Sharplin 4-May-20 This app is glitching when I use my Bluetooth headphones. the audio is dropping in and out. Hopefully you can fix thud problem so I can use the 'covidsafe' app and listen to podcast.
Joel Campbell 26-Apr-20 They said it didn't require my location at the press conference installed and get asked from the system for my location... You need location for Bluetooth. That's a hard pass for me. Sorry Scotty. I don't trust you that much.
Paul Anslow 6-May-20
Stephen Davey 7-May-20 This interferes with normal bluetooth operation and causes frequent audio drop outs when listening to music or pod casts I also suspect it cause other bluetooth issue for my samsung watch.
Johan du Toit 1-May-20
Benjamin Smith 27-Apr-20 This app interfered with my Bluetooth headphones and caused regular beeping noises to the point I had to uninstall it. If this didn't happen i would have kept it.
Amber Budge 4-May-20
Charlene Bodsworth 1-May-20 It keeps disconnecting my car bluetooth. And the notification that wont go away is annoying and drains battery life. I uninstalled it because it was frustrating.
Paul M 2-May-20 Interfered with Bluetooth headset every time I touched a FB post in my feed. Instant fix by deleting app. That's a shame 🤷‍♂️. I need my tunes.
Derek Walter 1-May-20 Interferes with Bluetooth devices about 4 times a minute on Samsung S10. Have to keep uninstalling it to use other applications.
Kerrie OGrady 5-May-20 but I haven't been tested yet
David Spall 14-May-20
Annette Marsh Marsh 7-May-20 Tried to register to use the app couldnt get the 6 digit pin number then when i did get the pin nunber it told me the pin was wrong & said to cgeck my internet connection.
Brian Duffy 27-Apr-20
Simon Hirsh 14-May-20
sarah P 27-Apr-20 I use a cgm for diabetes control this app keeps over riding the Bluetooth connection. Had to uninstall.
Michael Nicholls 2-May-20 Good idea but it's buggy and interferes with Bluetooth headphones. Uninstalled.
Chris Hickey 6-May-20
Emilio ATA 26-Apr-20 It tracks my every move and keeps insisting that 2+2=5. I decided to uninstall once it said I would have to rub the lotion on my skin or else I'd get the hose again. Do not recommend.
Sean Murphy 26-Apr-20 "John F Kennedy once said: Ask not what your country can do for you ... Ask what YOU can do for your country. Installing this LIFESAVING app is the greatest thing you'll EVER do for your country and her people. DON'T DELAY. DOWNLOAD AND ACTIVATE IT TODAY!!! Get EVERYONE you know to do the same. Lea"
Connor Pike 28-Apr-20
auzzies rule 5-May-20 I have a dexcom g5 sensor for my diabetese and share the info with my mum and dad and older sisters and this app ruins my Bluetooth making it say im 18.0 on my familys when i could be 10.0 meaning it could be unsafe to people that rely on there Bluetooth
Ian Baker 28-Apr-20
Glenn Conroy 17-May-20
Fildorian Sebastion 29-Apr-20 Disconnects bluetooth while driving and drains battery too quickly.
Marcus Cole 2-May-20
James Hope 27-Apr-20 This app causes constant interference with connected Bluetooth devices.
A Google user 27-Apr-20 Do it once this is all over delete it. Don't be afraid of the scare tactics from some politicians and tin hate bandates.
Troy Duncan 4-May-20
Ro Han 26-Apr-20 Will save lives. Registration after 6 tonight said on press conference by health minister
Ali Haider 26-Apr-20 Great work from Govt. We should support them and work together to save lives. Not sure why there are negative comments. People need to be thankful for having PM like us.
Chris Walsh 26-Apr-20
Peter Groves 27-Apr-20
Ken Dale 26-Apr-20 When I downloaded the app it said I had test positive for Corona Virus how does that work it wouldn't know who I was and only just down loaded app. Where's the catch.
AquarioStickJuice 4-May-20 My friend sent me this and said he would give me a cheese burger if i installed it he didnt give me a cheese burger at all :(
Allan Nicolson 28-Apr-20 lost me!! I tried 4 times😫
Aidens Videos 1-May-20
Rebecca Vincent 15-May-20
Ben 26-Apr-20 Wait until this evening as government said. All these idiots bad reviews when press conference said 6pm.
David Bell 26-Apr-20
Nicholas Davis 29-Apr-20 Wanna take the location tracker off and just use Bluetooth like you said 😂
Tom Frost 2-May-20
wayne heley 1-May-20
Geoffrey Gardner 27-Apr-20
Alan Shuttleworth 27-Apr-20
Rashid Mostafa 15-May-20
Mick Cater 27-Apr-20 "My phone has said waiting for download for many hours... should I bother ?"
Aidan Gaudron 27-Apr-20 I'll keep wearing my tin foil hat thank you very much
Roy Anderson 26-Apr-20 I tried to put in the PIN which i EVEN wrote down and it said wrong PIN SO I'M oPTING OUT.
Disco Times 28-Apr-20 "This app knows everything..for example i farted and it said you farted you smell"
Garry Sarney 21-May-20
Justin Dixon 22-May-20
Nisha... 26/04/2020 Simple and straightforward The news said it would be active at 6 pm however it worked for me at 5:48 pm and the final screen states that the app is active and I am registered. The security measures in place to protect the privacy of users are very comforting and I have no issues in letting the app use my Bluetooth (which is always on anyway) to assist in tracking and controlling the spread of Covid-19
Professor Berry 26/04/2020 Andrew doesn’t run the press conference "Andrew I’m sorry you’ve had several questions" the prime minister said. "Andrew I’m sorry Andrew. I know but you don’t run the press conference OK? So I’m going to go to other questions of members of the group. Katharine hasn’t had a question" "I’m happy to return to you but let’s just keep it civil. Katharine?"
Charamil 26/04/2020 Awesome recommend for anyone who wants to go outside. Only errors if you downloaded before 6pm. They said it would be ready from 6pm for anyone that wants to leave the house in 2020. Otherwise please do not leave your house for the next 8 months.
Ruadhaidh 26/04/2020 Easy very easy! Very straightforward to register. Sensible permissions and privacy steps. Confirmation by SMS instantaneous. I think other reviewers must have been overly impatient to write off an app within a few minutes of the 6pm (according to SMH) launch.
Garrethhh 26/04/2020 It is ready now If you tried earlier to setup it would not have worked they said ready after 6pm. All working well now. Support Australia getting back to normal by installing this app.
Agcousins34 26/04/2020 Working fine I was able to register unlike the thousands that said it’s not working. Perhaps the issue is resolved now. Anyway here’s to the government tracking me as I sit on the couch
Barnsy125 26/04/2020 Works fine! News outlets said to wait to 6pm to register. Predictably people ignored that advice and tried to register prematurely and then complained when it didn’t work. Go figure. Great initiative! Everyone get around it.
CBEECH01 26/04/2020 To get passed mobile verification Make sure you are using mobile data disconnect any wifi connection. Let’s all do our part in returning to a normal life!
RhinoInAdelaide 26/04/2020 Just download it Important for EVERYONE to download and use this app. You may not be sick but you might be in contact with someone. Wouldn’t you like to me the community safe?
S. M. A. Zaidi 26/04/2020 Good Work 👍 Quick n easy to setup within a minute and quickly verified my number as well. Hope it will be effective too. Nice work Gov 👍
m00n1 26/04/2020 Amazing Installed the app. My ex girlfriend came back. My friend paid me the money he owed. My kids started behaving. My car is now running smoothly. I got covid 19 but still. Pretty good outcome.
Aidan 11 26/04/2020 Family is safe Just coughed in my room! The microphone picked it up and alerted my family downstairs! Now I can’t leave great.....
maggie gb 29 26/04/2020 Easy!! Worked just like it said. Installation took 1 minute. Support this with all your friends.
AdelaideTown 26/04/2020 Simple & easy to use Great to see a Government app that is simple and straight forward to use
triple5adam 26/04/2020 My taxes paid for this This app was garbage. I couldn’t even register. Full of bugs. I thought this app was designed to fight bugs. Not create more. Would not recommend.
disappointed-993 26/04/2020 Privacy protection is too notch. On hearing the conditions put on the data collected and the fact that the code is open source I really cannot think of any extra steps the government could take to protect my privacy. I am an app developer and definitely no supporter of the current prime minister.
AmericanAmbrose 26/04/2020 Community equanimity First let me start off by saying I’m an American as such liberty and privacy are deeply important. But there is one idea that underlines all of that and that is the value of the community itself in general the community must be safe or individual rights and freedoms mean little. Can I having this data be abused! Absolutely in many different ways. However I think we have to trust for the sake of the community as a whole and accept the risk to the individual. It is said that those who give up liberty and rights in fear do not deserve either liberty or rights. That’s not what’s going on here at least not for me. It’s about safety I will give up some of my freedom to keep the community safe as a whole. And maybe just maybe we can come out the other side of all this as a better community one that actually looks after each other in the world around us. I’m grateful to be in Australia 😌 Ambrose covid19 - 2020
brett said 27/04/2020 Would a watch app be better? It’s a good initiative and the app is well considered and designed taking into account the turn around time required. Not an expert would a watch app be better considering the limitations of Bluetooth on a phone? Locked screen background processing etc.
anon_@&$ 27/04/2020 Technology clash Constant Bluetooth search by the app for nearby devices severely interferes with performance of other Bluetooth technologies in vicinity eg computer peripherals. Have to turn Phone (and therefore covidsafes) Bluetooth to be able to continue to work. This then requires me to actually remember to turn it on again when leaving the house. Not a great user experience
logan coolum 27/04/2020 Great app Very informative and inspirational. Gets somewhat political near the end and you get sick of hearing the blokes point of view when he keeps butting in and talking over the Coronavirus app. We’ll done guys keep em coming!
WCSutto 27/04/2020 Buggy but important. Couldn’t get my verification PIN until I disconnected from my home wifi. Try this if you’re having trouble.
Lost_in_Ideas 27/04/2020 Cannot get a pin I have downloaded this app and then tried and it has said many times there has been an error then I deleted and I repeated those steps and it still occurred I was happy to get the app and play my part to stop the spread but I am now sad that I cannot do that
Leatherrubberwetsuit 27/04/2020 Accessible sms It’s good idea for Deaf people and hard of hearing. ! If call by voice will not answer voice caller.
janryan9a 27/04/2020 Can’t download COVIDSafe App I was sent the code but the app said it was wrong. I have been unable to get past the point where it says to download information. I tried several times but still can’t download it. Frustrating
frtyuiio 27/04/2020 Can’t register Just said error to send me code.
rasthasan 28/04/2020 Definitely the one to download! Media promised me that it’s for our own good! They said "the app won’t track you it simply digitises where you’ve been and who you’ve been in contact with " See it’s totally different! They just want to know where you go and who you talk to. That’s all. Nothing to see here! Nothing fishy about that at all Guess who got the contract to "store the data"? It’s owned by the "wealthiest man on earth" and the company starts with A and end with mazon.
aaamazed 28/04/2020 Turn off wifi to register your number Tried many times (apple phone) but it said 'unable to verify your number'. Finally found the solution - turn off wifi registers instantly.
app_user_b01 28/04/2020 You’re an idiot if you don’t have it "ItS gOiNg To TrAcK mY lOcAtIoN" "I dOnT wAnT tHe GoVeRnMeNt FoLlOwInG mY mOvEmEnTs" - said every halfwit on Facebook comments section. I’m still waiting for one of these armchair tech geniuses to tell me how an app that doesn’t even request location services can track me. Furthermore why are they so paranoid? Have they seen government spies hiding in their front garden lately or something? Look Karen I don’t think they could care less what you do so why would they want to track you. This app is great. Uses little battery and mobile data. The more downloads there are the faster we’ll get out of our homes and the sooner lives get back to normal. It’ll tell you if you’ve bumped into someone with the virus to protect you and your family too. Just download the damn app.
Wenchbags 29/04/2020 Interferes with mobile hot spot Mobile hot spot not available or interference while using this app forced me to delete it.
Bonzo543 29/04/2020 Bluetooth connectivity Downloaded very straight forward. Having trouble with blue tooth as keeps disconnecting when phone goes to sleep.Allow Bluetooth remains off with no ability to switch this on via app. So don’t think my app is functioning. There is no real help/troubleshooting available for the app. So have given up. I did give high rating because the concept is good!
FuzzBot123 30/04/2020 Unclear if ‘open’ means foreground or don’t kill The Singapore version of this app requires it to be kept in the foreground and says that. This version says ‘open’ and the minister has said it has fixed the problems that require foreground. Can we get an answer as to if it needs to be in the foreground to work?
robdae 1/05/2020 Seems kinda pointless I understand the need for this app but it seems a little pointless. As I’m as hearing to the social distancing regulations the only people who I’m ever in contact with for more than 15 minutes are the people in my house. The most likely place I’m going to contact this virus is while shopping and the people I pass in the shops won’t be registered. The serving problem with it is Bluetooth which I need to remember to turn on when I leave the house but turn off at home or my phone automatically connects to random home devices.
Andy987s 1/05/2020 Tried and uninstalled Whilst the app is an excellent idea the implementation leaves a lot to be desired. The daily ‘alert’ messages which are just advertising were distracting and annoying. I disabled alerts for the app and then the app said they are required. There is no explanation why and of course the government has gone back on its promise to open source the app and release an independent security audit report. So thanks but no thanks.
raiden337 1/05/2020 Seriously held back by iOS As reported by and within the app itself the app must be open with your screen turned on to track Contacts. I can’t leave my phone unlocked whilst I’m roaming public places as this is specifically the time I want my phone protected by security. The app constantly sends notifications asking to open the app and leave it in power save mode for your reference power save mode is when you open the app and place your phone either upside down or face down. I’m really sad that iOS users aren’t able to reliably do our part to help!
prdaniels 2/05/2020 Possible glitch Great initiative but a possible glitch: when I’m streaming music over bluetooth to my wireless headphones I wonder if this app makes the music cut off periodically - it appears to disconnect the headphones entirely. As I’m quite a heavy user of these headphones unfortunately I can’t use the app at the same time. This issue with the music/headphones cutting out periodically (every 20mins or so? Sometimes more frequently) seemed to only begin when I’d installed the app.
cmascord 2/05/2020 Interferes with hands free and other Bluetooth devices The app is simple enough to register but the Bluetooth keeps preventing my phone from pairing with hands free in car and other Bluetooth devices. I generally have to either shutdown the app or go into my phone settings every time I get in the car to pair with hands free. Not only is this annoying but could be a safety issue for people driving.
Cenakhoa 4/05/2020 Bluetooth conflict with other accessories Thanks Australian government for your initiatives to get this application out. However when the app periodically use Bluetooth to check surrounding area already connected Bluetooth devices like headphones and speakers experienced light glitches or complete disconnection based on my testing. This could discourage people who commute/working by cars (connecting with Bluetooth in vehicles) or people who worked in professional service industry (who are always on Bluetooth headphones) to install the app
LavenderJadeRose 4/05/2020 E I installed the app and as soon as I entered I went into where I upload information or something and it said I have Covid-19. I never got tested I don’t think. I had a blood test 2 days ago but for something else. Did the blood test pick it up??
LuckyAdam 5/05/2020 Well done to the devs .. from another developer Well done to the team that built the app. Battery drain is less than 1% per day (which was one of my initial concerns). Can’t wait to see the source code but bug free for me and privacy is spot on with what they have said all along.
RHYS MUCCI 6/05/2020 Great app Please stop thinking the government is stealing your information. If you do you should probably see a doctor. Enough said.
whosaid 6/05/2020 Annoyingly you have to keep the app running I don’t have any complaints except that you have to run the app constantly - it’s easy to accidentally close when closing other apps.
Bobboooogf 7/05/2020 Doesn’t open I chose to say no to certain questions and now it doesn’t want to work. Obviously I don’t actually have any control over the app as the GOV said I did
kajinoz 8/05/2020 Interferes with Bluetooth in other apps using Bluetooth I noticed poor audio in Bluetooth earphones when Covid19 is running on iPhone 7
nitramluap 9/05/2020 Reasonable - bud need the proper API Due to the iPhone’s very reasonable privacy & battery limitations on developers this needs to use the upcoming Apple Exposure Notification API - and there is no excuse for it to not be ready the second iOS 13.5 drops as it’s been available to Developers for several weeks already. If they do NOT use the Apple API I shall be uninstalling this as it is totally pointless to require it to run in the foreground at all times. I’m not going to reward sloppy developers... so fingers crossed.
daHarves 10/05/2020 15 minute contact is too long We’re hearing that this app hasn’t collected data yet. Until health authorities / the CMO acknowledges that COVID-19 can be spread with contact a LOT less than 15 minutes and remember that this is not the flu... This app needs a custom sensitivity setting. To allow me to set my own time between 1 and 15 minutes. The app is ineffective otherwise. Privacy concerns are also moot while the app isn’t sensitive enough and collect enough data.
bluetooth question 11/05/2020 Will my hearing aid affect this app? I use Bluetooth to connect to my hearing aid on my iPhone. Does this limit the effectiveness of this app?
Lapin426 15/05/2020 Useless app I was expecting to have information relating to where those confirmed cases are. But this app said nothing about that. Totally useless.
Leasy1234567 18/05/2020 Interfere with Dexcom CGM diabetes app It caused my type one diabetes blood sugar monitoring app dexcom’s Bluetooth signal to drop out and didn’t alert me to my dangerous low blood sugar event. As soon as I deleted the app after hours of tying to get the signal back it magically reappeared. Be cautious CGM users!
aer0033 18/05/2020 Disrupts Bluetooth connections App interferes with Bluetooth connection to other devices. My Phone now disconnects my Apple Watch multiple times a day. Only by turning Bluetooth on and off can I reconnect my watch.
immitch 19/05/2020 Interferes with Apple Watch Unable to connect to my Apple Watch over Bluetooth after downloading the app. Can be fixed by toggling Bluetooth on/off and reconnecting daily. Very frustrating.
Tempogogo 20/05/2020 Doing my bit but... The app interfered with my other Bluetooth devices if left running in background for more than an hour. It disconnected wireless headphones several times. It unpaired Apple Watch entirely that I had to reset and re-pair my watch.

Appendix - Timeline

Day Date Notes
0 26/04/2020 COVIDSafe app launched
1 27/04/2020 First long-term tracking issues reported to, ASD, Maddocks (author of the PIA). First reports of the app interacting poorly with other Bluetooth devices (e.g. Continuous Glucose Monitors).
2 28/04/2020 First four issues described in a single document that was distributed widely to the relevant teams (both through official and unofficial channels).
4 30/04/2020 First contact with Singapore OpenTrace team. TempID caching issue fixed same-day. The Singapore team confirms that iPhones in the background are “not expected to work”. ASD confirmed that they will “follow this up”. No further contact. The Cybersecurity CRC confirmed that they have forwarded this doc but are extremely dismissive of the findings. No further contact. Maddocks replied and promised to forward the doc. No further contact.
8 04/05/2020 First contact with DTA. v1.0.15 & v1.0.16 (Android) released containing only updates to graphics and animations and some minor text changes. The only issue fixed is the confusing wording raised by Geoff. publishes a high-level summary of the known issues at this stage.
9 05/05/2020 v1.1 (iPhone) released. DTA confirms that they were first aware of the issues on 30/04/2020, but our contact still had not read the document. Full details of CVE-2020-12586 shared with the ASD/ACSC and DTA
10 06/05/2020 DTA CEO questioned by the Select Senate Committee on COVID-19. Topics include the iPhone background behavior and engagement with the tech community. Richard Nelson discovered the remote iPhone crash, reported to DTA.
12 8/05/2020 Source code of v1.0.16 (Android) and v1.1 (iPhone) released, confirming that there are no differences in the Bluetooth implementation to the upstream Singapore codebase.
13 9/05/2020 Same issues discovered in the ABTraceTogether app used by Alberta, Canada. Emailed, and Skype meeting arranged within 24 hours.
17 13/05/2020 DTA confirms that there will be a release tomorrow to fix the iPhone crash but it will fix none of the outstanding privacy issues.
18 14/05/2020 v1.0.17 (Android) and v1.2 (iPhone) released. Contrary to advice from the day before, fixes the first two privacy issues (along with the remote iPhone crash). DTA asked (via SMS to Jim Mussared) for availability to discuss fixes for CVE-2020-12586 in the next couple of days. Jim offered that they can call any time, but then they never followed through on arranging a time. No further contact received from the DTA, all follow-up emails ignored. (Edit: update after this doc was published, see below)
19 15/05/2020 Source code of v1.0.17 (Android) and v1.2 (iPhone) released.
20 16/05/2020 Source code of Alberta, Canada’s ABTraceTogether released. None of the issues raised on 09/05/2020 have been fixed.
21 17/05/2020 v1.3 (iPhone) released.
22 18/05/2020 Source code of v1.3 (iPhone) released. iPhone crash fixed in Singapore OpenTrace.
23 19/05/2020 Full details of CVE-2020-12586 shared with the Singapore & Alberta teams (and other affected countries).
26 22/05/2020 iPhone TempID expiry issue raised with DTA (and Singapore & Alberta).
29 25/05/2020 The The COVIDSafe App - 4 week update document was released publicly. 26 minutes later, update from the DTA with a planned release date for “the remaining Bluetooth issues”.
30 26/05/2020 v1.4 (iPhone) released and available to download, source code partially available same day but unable to compile as source code is missing. v1.0.18 (Android) source code released but Android application but not available to download from the app store.
32 28/05/2020 Submisisons for the Australian Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 close.

Appendix - Google Android Changelog

Version Date Comments
v1.0.11 2020-04-26 Initial Release. Implementation in serious breach of privacy policy. Contained text that caused public panic - "You have COVID19"
v1.0.15 2020-05-04 Brand new coat of paint and did not resolve privacy breach. Accidentally added 20 second pause to the launch screen.
v1.0.16 2020-05-04 Removed 20 second pause from the launch screen.
v1.0.17 2020-05-14 Partially resolves privacy breaches.
v1.0.18 2020-05-27 Source code released but application not available for download from the app store. Analysis pending.

Appendix - Apple iPhone Changelog

Version Date Comments
v1.0 2020-04-26 Initial Release.
v1.1 2020-05-05 Debug view removed, updated design and removed com.googleusercontent URLScheme.
v1.2 2020-05-14 Largely fixed background behaviour. Implemented the fix for CVE-2020-12717.
v1.3 2020-05-14 Removed daily notifications to remind users to keep app in foreground.
v1.4 2020-05-26 Application released, source code was partially published but unable to compile as files are missing. Analysis pending.