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Attorney-General urged to produce facts on US law enforcement access to COVIDSafe


The Attorney-General has been asked by Australia’s COVID-19 Senate Select Committee to produce documentation pertaining to legal advice received on the COVIDSafe app’s Bill — the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020 — in relation to the United States Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act).

Amazon Web Services (AWS) was handed the data storage contract for Australia’s COVID-19 contact tracing app in April. With AWS headquartered in the United States, concerns over the security of the data had been raised, with fears the data could be accessed by US law enforcement .

The committee has, since May, been seeking access to the legal advice provided to the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) on the matter. So far, the committee has not been convinced that the public interest immunity claims made by the department were sufficient to exempt it from producing such documentation.

The committee sought the AGD’s assurance that the data collected by COVIDSafe could not be accessed by a US law enforcement agency under the provisions of the CLOUD Act.

See also: New Bill to prepare Australian law enforcement for the US CLOUD Act

While AGD confirmed it had received legal advice on the interaction of the two […]

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