Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday that a contact tracing app is currently in the works, which is planned to launch nationwide in the upcoming weeks.
The Prime Minister said during his daily address that the government’s focus is now shifting, meaning newer and different safety measures are being implemented as more Canadians return to public spaces and the workforce.
“As we start loosening some restrictions, we have to strengthen other measures so that we don’t lose the progress we’ve made,” Trudeau said on Thursday.
“As some people start heading back to work, testing and contact tracing is crucial.”
The app has been created as a partnership between the Canadian Digital Service, Shopify, Blackberry, and the Government of Ontario. Trudeau stated he sees the app as an “important step forward”, which will allow for a safer reopening of the economy.
The main purpose of this new mobile app is to notify users if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 can anonymously upload their status to a national network, and other users who have the app and may have been in close proximity with the person who contracted the virus will then be notified.
Trudeau added that the Canada-made app will be “completely voluntary”, and is not a requirement for Canadians to download and use.
That being said, he noted that more users will help make the app better serve its purpose.
The Prime Minister also stressed that the app will not share, store, or collect any personal information from users, in case anyone is concerned about a breach of privacy.
“The privacy of Canadians will be fully respected,” he stated.
The app will begin testing in Ontario soon, and other provinces, including British Columbia, are currently working to get things in motion.
The Prime Minister is hoping that the app “will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.”