The federal government’s COVID Alert app has topped 4 million downloads after more provinces got on board with the app over the last few weeks. Even more, Canada’s public health site says that more than 1,000 one-time keys have been utilized as of October 8th.
Back at the start of September— and 90 days after COVID Alert introduced– the app sat at 2.2 million downloads. These new numbers represent an approximately comparable boost in downloads over about 40 days, or less than half as long as it required to pass the 2 million mark.
It deserves remembering that several provinces have actually officially joined on with COVID Alert and more are set to launch assistance for the app. Currently, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, P.E.I. and Quebec all allow COVID Alert users to report a COVID-19 medical diagnosis with the app. B.C. and Nova Scotia likewise prepare to support the app soon.
COVID Alert cautions of prospective direct exposure to COVID-19 without jeopardizing privacy
For those who might still be not familiar with COVID Alert, the app is based on Google and Apple’s Direct exposure Notification system The system was developed to be interoperable in between Android and iOS devices and forms a structure for nations to build direct exposure notice apps on.
COVID Alert works by utilizing mobile phones’ Bluetooth Low Energy connections to detect other close-by phones and trade unique, confidential codes. These codes can’t reveal your identity or any other personal details such as your location or what you were doing at the time codes were transferred. Instead, these codes serve as a record of each capacity close contact you have with another person near you. The app can trade some information such as the strength and period of the Bluetooth connection, which can be utilized to estimate the period of contact. Mobile phones keep these codes locally and no one else can see them.
When someone tests favorable for COVID-19 in among the provinces that support the app, they get a one-time secret with the outcome. They can enter this secret into the COVID Alert app to validate their positive test, then upload the regional record of possible close contacts from their phone.
Once submitted, other smartphones with COVID Alert can inspect the anonymous codes for matches. If there is a match, the app alerts users they were possibly exposed to somebody with COVID-19 and offers recommended next steps, such as quarantining or getting checked.
The COVID Alert app has been vetted and authorized by both the Workplace of the Personal Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and the Workplace of the Info and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC).