What you need to know
- Canada has announced a nationwide contact-tracing app.
- The app is built using Apple and Google's exposure notification technology.
- It will launch with beta testing in Ontario.
Justin Trudeau, Canada's Prime Minister, announced today that it is launching a nationwide contact-tracing app to help its citizens stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Reported by iPhone in Canada, the Prime Minister said that the app will allow users to report if they are infected and that those who were in proximity of them will be notified that they were in contact with someone who tested positive.
Trudeau announced that the app will launch with testing in Ontario, but that he expects it to be available to all Canadians in "the coming weeks".
"There are already a number of other provinces, including BC, who are working with us on this, but it will be available to everyone in the coming weeks."
Canada's contact-tracing app uses the exposure notification technology developed by Apple and Google. This technology uses Bluetooth, rather than GPS, to track instances of exposure between people. It also ensures anonymity for those reporting themselves as infected. Canada's app was built by Shopify, Blackberry, and the Government of Ontario.
"The contact-tracing app was developed by Shopify, BlackBerry and the Government of Ontario and will be voluntary for people to use, while led by the government's Canadian Digital Service initiative. The B.C. government has also been working with contact tracing app partners on the matter as well."
Canada joins a number of other countries that have opted to use Apple and Google's decentralized approach to contact-tracing in order to protect user privacy and encourage widespread adoption. The UK also just announced that it was abandoning its centralized approach and opting for Apple and Google's solution.