Data experts warn of likely privacy flaws in Govt's contact tracing app21/04/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
Due to be launched in a fortnight, the app will enable health authorities to trace the contacts of infected people through their smartphones and alert them of their potential exposure to the virus.
The app, modelled on Singapore’s own TraceTogether app launched in March, utilises smartphones' Bluetooth function to determine relative proximities, as well as create a de-identified record, of nearby users.
Apple, Google join forces to assist govts with Covid-19 contact tracing tech21/04/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
In a rare joint statement by the technology giants, the pair announced they will launch an iOS and Android interoperable developer’s toolkit by next month, including an initial run of APIs and backend OS-level tweaks, that will assist health authorities developing contact tracing apps.
The apps, in theory, would be equipped to anonymously track an individual’s recent person-to-person encounters; should a user test positive for Covid-19, the apps would detect close contacts exposed to the infected individual in the preceding days and report data back to health authorities.
seL4 Foundation's mission to hard-code security into the OS16/04/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
Data61 hailed seL4 as the world's first operating system (OS) kernel that is "mathematically proven to be secure".
“This is the world's fastest and most advanced OS microkernel,” the digital research agency said in a statement on the Foundation's launch. “The kernel is the piece of software that runs at the core of any computer system and is responsible for ensuring overall security, safety, and reliability.”
Commonwealth sounds alert on ‘vulnerable’ agencies as cyberattacks surge15/04/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
The figures were revealed in the recently released Commonwealth Cyber Security report commissioned by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the ACSC’s parent agency, which tracked cyber incidents impacting public agencies across 2019.
Two-thirds of incidents were self-reported to the centre, with the remaining one-third identified through the Centre’s investigations and reporting from international partners or third parties.
ASD launches pre-emptive strike against foreign cybercriminals07/04/2020 Anonymous Government
The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) said it has doubled down on efforts to disarm offshore cybercriminals, engaging with local telecommunications companies to proactively block and take down malicious websites.
Cybercriminals, exploiting fears and uncertainties around the Covid-19 pandemic, are reported to have adopted aggressive phishing tactics to trick users into revealing sensitive data.
Australian scientists build experts' database to track Covid-19 developments07/04/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
Under the collaboration, local scientists will build out a searchable database, pooling knowledge from experts across a range of fields and providing a shared resource for public agencies and researchers to monitor, navigate and respond to the virus's spread.
The aptly named Covid-19 Expert Database and partnership program is headed by the Australian Academy of Science.
Aus Govt ramps up telehealth services06/04/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
Through the new telehealth support scheme, Medicare card holders will be able to access bulk-billed telehealth consultations with their doctors and other health professionals without having to pay out-of-pocket costs.
The telehealth package is part of a $1.1 billion funding boost by the Federal Government to support social distancing initiatives in place to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
QLD Health expands telehealth services to tackle Covid-19 spread06/04/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
BoM to invest $16m on next-gen weather monitoring platform06/04/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
BoM will partner with Leidos Australia on the three-year platform build. Leidos, a local software developer, is an existing supplier to the Australian Defence Force.
The project has been welcomed by BoM as an important step to delivering resilient services and functionality through a secure and scalable data management platform.
In a brief statement, Leidos Australia chief executive, Christine Zeitz, said the company was “delighted” to have secured its first contract with the Bureau.
Aus govt launches coronavirus alert app, WhatsApp service03/04/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
The Coronavirus Australia app features a real-time information service, expert health advice, and recommendations for the public to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Through the app, users will be able to access feeds on their smartphones showing the Government’s health, safety, and social services being deployed in response to coronavirus epidemic.
While not in real-time, the regularly updated feeds include advice on coronavirus symptoms, social welfare, help, safety, and hygiene. Statistics on the local spread of the virus are also shared.
Aus, Singapore fast-track digital trade agreement01/04/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
The Digital Trade Agreement was signed during a video conference between the Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Lee Hsien Loong, with leaders adhering to social distancing protocols in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Incorporated into the agreement are several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between the states' respective digital agencies: Singapore’s Smart Nation and Digital Government Office and Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency.
Australians warned over Covid-19 phishing scams, with hackers zeroing in on remote working apps30/03/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
The scams, which disguise themselves as Covid-19-related support materials, appear as official correspondence from government agencies, international healthcare advisory sites, postal services, or entities that manage relief payments.
Both the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have warned that the number of email scams hitting inboxes will likely escalate as Covid-19 case rates increase.
NSW Gov launches inquiry into gig economy, workplace tech27/03/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
The inquiry is being spearheaded by a Parliamentary Select Committee established by the Berejiklian Government in late March, examining the changing nature of work, labour market trends, current and future contractual arrangements, and the outlook for 'on-demand' workers.
Aus govt deploys mobile messaging service for Covid-19 alerts26/03/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
This outreach underscores moves by the Federal and state governments to reinforce official guidelines around social distancing, restricted gatherings, self-quarantine, or pre-visit notifications to GPs or hospitals. The mobile messaging service was launched on 25 March.
Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said this initiative underlined steps towards ensuring that people protect their health and those of their families and communities.
Services Australia boosts capacity to manage welfare claim surge26/03/2020 Shahida Sweeney Government
The first contingent of 1,500 new staff is currently being trained to handle a spike in call numbers handled by the agency as well as high-volume claims processing.
A direct successor to the Department of Human Services, Services Australia was established earlier this year as an executive agency managing the Social Services portfolio. This portfolio includes Centrelink, Medicare, and Child Support payments and services.
A raft of new staffing and ICT upgrade arrangements was unveiled by Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert yesterday.