A Bluetooth-powered COVID-19 contact tracing app is set to pilot in Ontario before it rolls out nationwide.
The app, called COVID shield, was developed in co-operation with Shopify, BlackBerry, the Canadian Digital Service, and the Ontario Digital Service.
In today’s announcement by the Prime Minister, he described the app as “super simple”, “super secure”, and “completely voluntary”.
How does it work?
According to a federal release, when a patient tests positive for COVID-19, a health-care provider will give them a unique temporary code that they will need to upload their status anonymously to the network.
Via Bluetooth, those who have the app and who have been near someone who has tested positive will receive an alert that they’ve been exposed to the virus followed by a notification that will encourage them to reach out to their local public health authorities.
The announcement was quick enough to raise concerns about privacy. However, the PM says the app completely respects people’s privacy and guaranteed no location services are involved.
Tech giants, Apple and Google have collaborated providing the software and the app will be ready to download on any smartphone in Ontario on July 2.