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Parliament passes more protection for COVIDSafe tracing app data

Legislation has passed federal Parliament making it a crime to access coronavirus tracing app data without authorisation.

Legislation has passed federal Parliament making it a crime to access coronavirus tracing app data without authorisation. Photo: AAP

The Morrison government’s coronavirus tracing app will have stronger privacy protections under legislation which has passed Parliament.

People found accessing the data without authorisation will face up to five years’ jail and fines of $63,000.

Businesses refusing to serve people because they haven’t downloaded the app will face the same penalties, along with anybody who tries to force someone to sign up.

The legislation was passed amid concerns about the government’s reluctance to be honest about the limitations of the app.

All sides of politics supported the bill’s passage through the Senate on Thursday, putting strict requirements on the collection, use and disclosure of COVIDSafe app data.

The new privacy protections also make it a crime to store data outside Australia or communicate the information to someone overseas.

Attorney-General Christian Porter is hoping the new laws will spur more people to join the 5.63 million who have downloaded and registered for the contact tracing scheme.

-with AAP

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