Canada’s COVID Alert app has launched in Quebec today, as announced by Premier François Legault.
“The COVID Alert app is a tool that Quebeckers can use to help protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities from COVID-19. As more people use it, we can slow the spread of the virus and help prevent future waves. We will continue to work with other provinces and territories to bring their health authorities on board so as many Canadians as possible can benefit from the app,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his now boilerplate statement.
According to Health Minister Patty Hajdu, COVID Alert has been downloaded over 3.3 million times.
Canada’s COVID Alert app is based on Google and Apple’s exposure notification framework, which leverages Bluetooth on devices for anonymous “handshakes” in the background. The app does not use GPS info or collect any user data. It has been vetted as safe by Canada’s privacy commissioner and provincial counterparts.
When someone tests positive for COVID-19, they can anonymously alert others that may have been in contact using COVID Alert, by obtaining a one-time use from their provincial health authority.
Quebec joins Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador in supporting COVID Alert. P.E.I. and Nova Scotia are set to join next, while Alberta has previously committed to supporting as well. At this point, B.C. will surely make an announcement soon.