Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has announced today that the country will use Apple/Google’s API for its national contact tracing app. It will first launch as part of a test in Ontario on July 2 before becoming available more widely.
The news about Canada moving forward with Apple/Google’s API comes after the UK shared that it has reversed its previous plans and decided to do the same.
In the announcement today, Trudeau shared that Canada’s national contact tracing app built on Apple/Google’s API was created in partnership with Shopify, Blackberry, the Ontario government, and the Canadian Digital Service Initiative (via iPhone in Canada).
Canada’s decision to go with a national approach comes after Alberta launched a Bluetooth-based contact tracing app back at the beginning of May. However, that app required users to keep their phones unlocked with the app in the foreground for it to work, a major barrier to adoption.
Apps built on Apple/Google’s API don’t need to be running in the foreground making for a much more convenient experience including less battery drain. They work anonymously and are opt-in.
As for the US, there is hardly any participation where individual states are making the call whether to use the secure and private Apple/Google API. As of now, there are no US states offering a supported app with just four planning to do so.
Here’s a look at the app and the setup process:
NEW: Here's your first look at Ontario's new COVID-19 contact tracing app.
— Colin D'Mello CTVNews (@ColinDMello) June 18, 2020
#BREAKING: The province of Ontario is testing a contact tracing app that will notify people if they’ve been exposed to someone with #COVID19. It will be voluntary and anonymous. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/fBBMhSnVFO
— NEWSTALK1010 (@NEWSTALK1010) June 18, 2020
Read more on Apple/Google’s Exposure Notifications API:
- Here’s how Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification API works while securing privacy
- Which U.S. states are using Apple’s Exposure Notification API for COVID-19 contact tracing?
- How to manage COVID-19 exposure notifications on iPhone
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