COVID-19 exposure notification app launchedJuly 31, 2020
The federal government launched its COVID-19 exposure notification app. The ‘COVID Alert’ app aims to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in Canada by notifying a user when they have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for the virus. It is being tested in Ontario first before launching across Canada. The app is voluntary and can be downloaded on the Apple App Store or the Google Play store.
The app is another tool Canadians can use to help limit the spread of infection as we ease restrictions and restart the economy.
UPDATE AUG 4: The federal and Ontario Privacy Commissioners released a joint statement in support of the COVID-19 exposure notification app that was launched on Friday. While the COVID Alert does have very significant privacy protections, the Commissioners’ endorsement is subject to ongoing monitoring of those protections and the app’s effectiveness. In particular:
- The use of the app is voluntary. No third party should impose any requirements on individuals with regard to it;
- Independent oversight of the app is important and there will be an audit involving the federal privacy Commissioner of the app, once it is up and running;
- While the app, though new and untested, is likely to be effective, the commissioners recommend it be decommissioned if it turns out not to be.The federal Privacy Commissioner also released their full privacy review of COVID Alert.