Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a nationwide launch of the COVID-19 contact tracking app, based on the Notification Exposure API, developed jointly by Apple and Google. Mr. Trudeau said the app, initially scheduled to go live in early July, would be the first to be tested in Ontario.
Canada has become another new member of the API, which is already available in countries including the Uk, Italy, Latvia, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Saudi Arabia. At least three U.S. states are also adopting the solution.
Exposure notification is a Bluetooth-based API, but requires a companion application to be installed to be used, and there is a detailed description of the API in Settings Privacy. In addition to showing the number of times a user has checked a user’s exposure record in the past 14 days, it will also show which public health agency the user is using.
If users are at risk of contact with COVID-19 patients, they will receive push notifications from the public health agency App.
Here’s what the app might show when a user reports a COVID-19 diagnosis positive.
Apple and Google also shared a list of requirements that all app developers who use their exposure notification APIs must follow.
Apps must be created by government public health agencies or for government public health agencies and can only be used for COVID-19 response work.
The app must require the user’s consent before it can use the API.
The app requires users to obtain their consent before sharing positive test results with public health agencies.
The App should only collect the minimum necessary data and use it only for COVID-19 response work. The use of all other user data, including targeted advertising, is not permitted.
The app is prohibited from seeking access to the location service.
The use of the API will be limited to one app per country to promote high user usage and avoid fragmentation. If a country chooses a regional or state approach, Apple and Google are prepared to support these authorities.