Alberta’s ABTraceTogether app has seen some popularity since it was launched a week ago.
The app was created to assist in Alberta Health Service’s contact tracing efforts, and important step to detect COVID-19 cases before they can spread to other unsuspecting Albertans.
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The app is entirely voluntary, and uses Bluetooth to determine if a user has come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. Alongside the app, contact tracing is done by contacting all people who a coronavirus patient remembers being in close proximity to.
It was noted that the app does not track anyone’s geographic location, and that the government has contacted the Information and Privacy Commissioner about it, and no concerns were raised.
Since its launch, the app has seen 142,079 downloads.
All data is encrypted and stored on the user’s phone for 21 days, and users must consent to share that data if they test positive for coronavirus.
The only information that is shared in that situation would be the random ID of those identified as close contacts, ie within two metres of each other for a total of 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.
Downloads for the app can be found on the Province of Alberta’s website.