The upcoming contact-tracing app in Canada will be “completely voluntary.” This was what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday in the aim to curb the worsening crisis.
The North American country is launching a contact-tracing smartphone app that will help with tracing efforts during the pandemic, and it is coming out in the coming weeks.
“At no time will personal information be collected and shared, and no location services will be used,” PM Trudeau said. “The privacy of Canadian will be fully respected.”
The wife of Trudeau, it can be recalled, was among the first cases of the coronavirus during its first wave. In Canada, there are now about 100,000 confirmed cases, with 62,000 people who have recovered, and 8,300 deaths.
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This announcement from the Canadian government was released due to this growing number, saying that the federal offices are now reviewing smartphone apps, preparing to strongly recommended a particular app.
Yet, on June 1, the country’s health minister Patty Hajdu revealed discussions with the provinces and other territories about the contact-tracing app are now on-going. Hajdu said that there are jurisdictions that “prefer” the usual contact tracing systems. This was confirmed after individuals have accurately detected those who are positive for the virus, and tracked down close contacts with the help of frontliners.
With the soon-to-launch app, the idea is for this technology to join these efforts, especially those considered critical to the spread of the pandemic.
There are warnings, though, including those from the federal, territorial, and provincial privacy commissioners and other privacy experts, including the use of digital apps. These public health tools may significantly impact the privacy of the locals, give the collected data. They also advocated for the use of these apps to establish the public’s trust.
For instance and in particular, Canadian province Alberta has already completed launching its own app, known as ABTraceTogether. Last May, the premier of Ontario called for a nationwide contact tracing strategic planning.
Those involved included the Canadian Digital Service, Ontario government, BlackBerry, and Shopify, the prime minister said. Details will be revealed by the Ontario Premier Doug Ford, including information on how the app will receive testing in the province.
Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, revealed her recovery and her journey with the coronavirus after being among the public figures, and patients diagnosed with it during the first waves.
She has recently been active on social media to interact with her followers, who want to know her experience dealing with COVID-19. Her health is continuously improving, and precautions are being adhered to avoid any complications.
The novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, in December, and now in several countries in the world, data from Johns Hopkins University reported.