COVID Alert for iOS and Android was released nationwide back on Friday, and in three days it has already hit 1.1 million downloads, according to Canadian Digital Service, in an announcement today.
“1.1 million downloads of COVID Alert exposure notification app! You never cease to amaze us, Canada! Thanks to you, we’re closer to slowing the spread of #COVID19.”
COVID Alert is currently only working with health authorities in Ontario, but more provinces and territories are expected to support the exposure notification app, with Atlantic Canada next, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The app leverages Bluetooth on iPhones and Android smartphones, working in the background for anonymous “handshakes”. When someone tests positive for COVID-19, they get a token from local health authorities to enter into the COVID Alert app, which then notifies those previously in contact within 2 metres for 15 minutes of potential exposure to coronavirus.
COVID Alert does not use GPS and does not track your location, with all data remaining on a user’s device. Canadian and provincial privacy commissioners have backed the app, which is open source and made with Apple and Google’s exposure notification API to allow for Bluetooth to function in the system background.
A previous report by The Logic claimed the federal government aims to have about 60% of the population download and install COVID Alert.