Canada is looking for volunteers to test its coronavirus contact tracing app

Jul 24 2020, 9:23 am

A Canadian smartphone app meant to warn users if they’ve been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID is now in beta testing.

In June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the national app would be ready for testing in Ontario, before rolling out to other provinces, but the trial was delayed.

The app was supposed to be released in the first week of July.

Now, the Canadian Digital Service, which puts federal services online, is asking for people to sign up and test out the app to ensure it’s working smoothly.

The agency is doing “large-scale testing with people,” and participants can download the app onto their phone, complete a task using the app, and provide feedback on their experience.

The entire process is said to take two to four days, and anyone over the age of 18 living in Canada can participate in the research.

“We’re testing for accessibility, reliability, and usability. This will let us know if there are any unknown bugs to fix before launching the app,” the agency says.

Using Bluetooth, the app shares anonymous, randomly generated codes with other app users nearby.

If you test positive for the virus, you can anonymously notify others who have been near you in the last 14 days. And if you have been in contact with anyone who tested positive, you will also be notified.

According to the province of Ontario, the app collects no personal data or personal health information and does not collect or track GPS location data.

It also “destroys” all anonymized data on the app after 14 days.

Daily Hive has reached out to the Canadian Digital Service and will update this story accordingly.

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