While the Federal government has announced a tracking app to help identify exposure to Covide-19, Scott Morrison has been clear that it will be optional, but that it needs about 40% take-up (some medical experts say much higher) to be effective.
So what are its chances?
In our work we have found there are 6 Universal Human Values that people are drawn to – we feel comfortable with individual, groups, organisations (or systems) that we feel demonstrate some or all of the Values of Fairness, Courage, Honesty, Trust, Dignity & Love. And it is a continuum – where the opposite values are displayed we disengage.
So any system or process that is introduced will enjoy acceptance or support if people feel it displays those positive Values. For example most Australians seem comfortable with the JobKeeper program.
In my view this is because most people look at JobKeeper and say something like:-
- “it’s simple for me to access” – Honesty & Trust
- “this will help keep people employed” – Dignity
- “it’s a big commitment for a long time” – Courage
- “it’s the same amount for everyone” – Fairness
- “it gives people some security in uncertain times” – Love
Some people of course will feel differently, and may see a common $750 per week payment, or the exclusion of some groups, as unfair.
The challenge for a government, or any leader introducing change, is to get the balance right, and to understand and talk to those who see the change or new system negatively.
Of course people’s responses will also be shaped by their long-held views about government, individual rights, politics and the politicians involved. The perceived success or failure of other actions around Covid-19 will also come into it.
So how might people view the Tracking App & what do the Federal & State governments need to do to encourage its take-up?
What might people say about the Tracking App?
- “it’s an invasion of privacy – I don’t want the government knowing what I am doing” – Undignifying
- “if Federal MPs aren’t going to sign-up why should I?” – Distrust
- “how do I know the government or police might not use this for other reasons” – Distrust
- “why would I participate & take the risk of my information being misused, when lots of people won’t?” – Unfair
- “this will make it easier to detect people at risk sooner” – Love
- “this would make it easier to reopen the economy & get things moving” – Love
The government will need to satisfy these concerns around Trust & Dignity, and emphasise the benefits to lives & the economy (Love) if this initiative is going to succeed.