The government is facing criticism over delays in rectifying bugs and shortcomings with its COVIDsafe contact tracing app.
Computer experts have voiced concern that, more than a week after the app was launched, the government was yet to issue a software update or address problems people have encountered in downloading and using the app.
In addition to well-known problems in making the app work effectively on Apple iphones, users have also encountered issues downloading the app, registering for use and obtaining technical support.
Software engineer Geoffrey Huntley said one of the potentially most alarming yet easily rectified problems was that the app displayed the message "You have tested positive for COVID-19" when users pressed the 'Upload my information' button at the bottom of the main page.
The issue came to public attention within days of the app's launch when a Melbourne woman described her panic after coming across the message.
Mr Huntley said it would be simple to change the wording on the app to fix the problem and was concerned that an update was yet to be rolled out.
He said there were a number of problems with user experience that were yet to be addressed, including blocked access to the app for people with offshore iTunes accounts, the necessity of having an Australian mobile number and the requirement that users have access to SMS in order to register.
Mr Huntley said there was "no customer support" addressing these or other issues raised by users and those attempting to download the app and register for its use.
"The government keeps talking about the number of downloads. That should not be the success metric. The metric should be how it is working," he said.
Chief scientist at the Optus Macquarie Cyber Security Hub, Dali Kaafar, said an even bigger problem was trying the make the app work with Apple iphone's IOS operating system.
For the app to work properly, it must have uninterrupted Bluetooth access. But Professor Kaafar said an Apple iphone security feature was to block Bluetooth for apps working in the background, essentially rendering the COVIDsafe inoperative unless it was continuously in the foreground.
Professor Kaafar said attempts had been made for Apple to issue an update to make a exemption for the app, but that now appeared unlikely.
Instead, Apple and Google were working on an joint approach that may resolve the issue.
Professor Kaafar said it may be that the app's developers were waiting on the results of this work before issuing a software update.
The Digital Transformation Agency, which helped develop the app, said it would be updated "as required".
The agency said that any bugs or issues could be reported via the app or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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