The Quebec government has launched a public consultation into a contact tracing app for COVID-19.
Launched on Wednesday, the government says it is “considering making available to its citizens, who have a smartphone, a mobile application that would help reduce the spread of COVID-19, by informing them, anonymously, that they have been in contact with an infected person.”
The province says its public consultation into the matter “makes Québec one of the rare states to sound out public opinion in this respect.”
The COVID-19 contact tracing app would be voluntary and would be able to be deactivated at any time or be deleted. The government details the app would rely on Bluetooth to exchange random identifiers with other smartphones in proximity, with no GPS location data tracked or personal info exchanged.
The public consultation appears to be related to the federal government’s delayed launch of its COVID Alert iOS and Android app, which uses Apple and Google technology for contact tracing. The app was set to launch in Ontario first on July 2, but has since been delayed, as other provinces have apparently yet to come on board.
“For reasons of effectiveness and interoperability between Canadian provinces, the Government of Canada is proposing to attribute the codes anonymously and to manage the notification of the people who had contact with an individual infected with COVID-19,” explains the Quebec government.
The consultation asks questions such as whether participants own a smartphone, which administrative region they live in, concerns and needs of a contact tracing app and more.
Residents in Quebec can participate in the public consultation by clicking here. The first phase is from July 8 to August 2.