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The acceptability and usage of COVID-19 tracking technologies

Paul M Garrett
University of Melbourne ~ School of Psychological Sciences
Mr. Joshua White
University of Melbourne ~ School of Psychological Sciences
Andrew Perfors
University of Melbourne, Australia ~ School of Psychological Sciences
Prof. Yoshi Kashima
University of Melbourne ~ Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Daniel R. Little
The University of Melbourne ~ Psychological Sciences
Stephan Lewandowsky
University of Bristol ~ School of Psychological Science and Cabot Institute
Prof. Simon Dennis
University of Melbourne ~ University of Melbourne
Dr. Martin Tomko
The University of Melbourne
Dr. Nic Geard
The University of Melbourne
Dr. Lewis Mitchell
The University of Adelaide

Lacking a vaccine, Governments have turned to behavioral strategies to stop the spread of COVID-19, for example, mask-wearing, physical distancing, and lockdown policies. Tracking technologies that monitor who you have been in contact with and when this contact occurred, offer a different solution. These technologies allow people to maintain their normal social activities with some assurance that they will be notified if they make contact with an infected individual. However, the effectiveness of these strategies relies upon their acceptance and uptake among the population, and people's willingness to identify as infected with COVID-19 should the need arise. We conducted a series of nationally representative surveys in Australia and overseas to assess attitudes towards three hypothetical mobile tracking technologies: a Government App, the Apple/Google Exposure Notification System, and a telecommunication network tracking option. Where possible, we then compared these hypothetical results to the uptake of real-world apps, such as Australia's COVIDSafe app. We discuss our findings with reference to the observed gap between public health intentions and public health behaviors.



Mobile Tracking Technologies


Mathematical Psychology

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Cite this as:

Garrett, P., White, J. P., Perfors, A. F., Kashima, Y., Little, D., Lewandowsky, S., Dennis, S., Tomko, M., Geard, N., & Mitchell, L. (2021, February). The acceptability and usage of COVID-19 tracking technologies. Paper presented at Australasian Mathematical Psychology Conference 2021. Via