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Not long ago I tweeted a bunch of stuff about the forthcoming COVID-19 contact tracing up. While I was doing so, the relevant stuff was published at and…. Here’s what I think the PM should be asked at 3pm...
“Use of COVIDSafe will allow us to lift restrictions earlier than would otherwise be possible.” How do you know this? What modelling was done? When will that be released? What are the margins of error and other variables?
“The approximate distance and duration for a close contact is 1.5 metres for 15 minutes or more.” Why were these numbers chosen? What modelling was done? When will that be released? What are the margins of error and other variables?
“COVIDSafe uses Bluetooth® received signal strength indicator (RSSI) values to measure the signal strength [etc.]” What margins of error exist in this process? How was the uncertainty incorporated into the modelling? Etc.
“Who built COVIDSafe? The app is an Australian Government initiative.” This does not answer the question. Please answer the question. When will the source code be published? When will we see the written spec? When will we see the Privacy Impact Assessment (POIA)?
I saw somewhere that the ASD will be reviewing / has reviewed the app. When will that report be published?
Overall, what analysis has been done to confirm that the use of this app will indeed improve the overall process rather than, say, overloading human contract tracers with low-risk data, or increase the likelihood of risky behaviour? Which is to say, how was net benefit proven?
More specifically, there must be sets of conditions where it becomes clear that more harm is being done rather than good, even if they’re extreme scenarios. What are those scenarios, and how do we know we’re not in one of them?
And finally, Prime Minister, why don’t we have technically knowledgeable people answering these questions rather than politicians and medical bureaucrats? Thank you.
And now we cross to Canberra, where a bunch of white people will ask why the schools are reopening. Or not, depending which state you’re in.

(Personally, I’m in a state of despair and extreme disappointment. In the government. In all of you.)
The Canberra press gallery gets ready to hear from the Prime Minister.
The Canberra press gallery waiting patiently for the Q&A.
The Canberra press gallery believes it’s found an important line of questioning.
Finally, the Canberra press gallery members go back to their desks to create their analysis and insights.
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