Privacy in a pandemic; QR codes and contact tracing

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Since its release in April 2020, the COVID Safe app seriously underperformed despite millions of dollars being spent on development and advertising. Seven months on, the app has become an unsuccessful relic of early government plans to trace COVID-19 cases. 

In its wake, a new tracing technology has emerged, but similar concerns surrounding privacy have continued to worry Australians. 

Quick Response (QR) codes are not a new technology, however, its involvement in public health safety is growing. Many states are opting to use QR coding to track patrons of local businesses in order to efficiently trace cases of COVID in the community. 

But, how efficient is QR coding, and how concerned should we be about volunteering our personal information in order to operate within society?

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