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The Informer: Spy agencies scoop up your COVID app data

COVIDsafe app data was scooped up
COVIDsafe app data was scooped up "in the course of the lawful collection of other data".

Heard of "incidental collection"? And no, it doesn't refer to sewage testing - but there is a COVID-19 link.

A report by a government watchdog on Monday revealed that Australia's intelligence agencies have been caught "incidentally" collecting data from our COVIDSafe contact-tracing app.

The data, a specialist online tech website reported, was scooped up "in the course of the lawful collection of other data".

The Australian government's inspector general for the intelligence community said that there was "no evidence" that any agency "decrypted, accessed or used any COVID app data" and that agencies were "taking active steps to ensure compliance" with the law, and that the data would be "deleted as soon as practicable".

The app's credibility took another blow today when experts said even with new bug fixes and updates it still struggled to deliver.

Despite the alleged improvements becoming available before Christmas, the COVIDSafe app has taken a backseat amid the recent NSW and Victorian outbreaks.

And about those outbreaks ... NSW recorded four new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. An additional case, which will be reported on Wednesday, has sparked concern about transmission in western NSW.

A man from the western Sydney suburb of Berala, who acted on a text from NSW Health, tested positive but only after stopping into a few places on a camping trip. And while there are no confirmed cases in the state's central west, authorities have ramped up testing at Broken Hill, Orange and Nyngan.

The ACT, coronavirus-free again after no new cases were reported in the past 24 hours and the most recent case recovered, has extended its hard border restrictions to people from designated NSW hot spots for at least another week.

Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro also suggested the ACT may have to consider a border permit system for towns surrounding the territory should the Sydney outbreak worsen. But let's not get ahead of ourselves on the bubble-front.

The NSW-Vic border bubble is back in place - in a slightly different guise since late last week. If all the rules and regulations associated with it are still a bit unclear, let The Border Mail help. You can find everything you need to know about the border's closure and the border bubble in one place. Our pleasure.

Victoria returned three new cases of local transmission from 32,544 tests on Tuesday, with one more positive case in a returned traveller now in hotel quarantine.

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