What you need to know
- There's a critical flaw in Australia's COVIDsafe app on iOS.
- When you lock the app on iOS, it can no longer retrieve the random number used to identify you.
- That means your device can't be logged by others around you.
A critical flaw has been discovered in Australia's COVIDSafe app which stops a locked device from retrieving a new random identification number.
COVIDSafe iOS has had a pretty major bug since launch, reducing logged encounters:https://t.co/wHlBenQHCm
A locked device with expired ID cannot retrieve a new one. Without an ID, It will record other people around it, but will not be recorded by others.COVIDSafe iOS has had a pretty major bug since launch, reducing logged encounters:https://t.co/wHlBenQHCm
A locked device with expired ID cannot retrieve a new one. Without an ID, It will record other people around it, but will not be recorded by others.— Richard Nelson (@wabzqem) June 14, 2020June 14, 2020
The example he uses is of someone locking their iPhone and putting it in a bag and going out for the day. Whilst the phone remains locked and unable to fetch a new random identifier, no other devices they come into contact with will lodge that device as a contact. If two devices in that state come into contact, no contact will be lodged at all. In real term impact, if that person was to come into contact with someone carrying COVID-19, they would not receive a notification about the encounter after the fact. Commenting on Twitter Nelson stated:
The Australian government has previously admitted its iOS app was not working as expected due to restrictions placed on its use of Bluetooth, due to the fact it doesn't use Apple and Google's API.
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9