Canada releases its COVID contact tracing app using the Apple-Google API [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2020
Canada's coronavirus contact tracing app using the Apple-Google API has been released, with it showcasing the simplicity of the tool.

Canada's COVID Alert App
Canada's COVID Alert App


Apple and Google engineers teamed up to create a cross-platform API for tracing the spread of the coronavirus. The API was officially released in May 2020 and has seen little adoption by agencies around the world.

Canada's app, called COVID Alert, is one of the first high-profile uses of the API and is available for all iPhone users in Canada. You can download the app if you're not in Canada, but there is no benefit from tracing notifications due to how Canada's app tracks infections.

The on-boarding process is simple and explains how the app works
The on-boarding process is simple and explains how the app works


When you first launch the app you are greeted with a series of screens explaining how the app works and what data is collected. Basically the app will pass bluetooth tokens between nearby devices also using the app, and if you're close to someone for long enough a log is made.

When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they get a one-time key from the doctor (in Canada). Once the diagnosis key is entered, everyone you've come into contact with over a couple of weeks will be alerted of your diagnosis.
Submit your diagnosis one-time key if you have COVID
Submit your diagnosis one-time key if you have COVID


The system keeps users safe by not storing any credentials within the app. The only information required is that one-time code, which does not reveal your identity to the users alerted of the positive diagnosis.

The only way the contact tracing system can be effective is if the population adopts it on a massive scale. If you live in Canada and have an iOS or Android device, download the app to participate.

If you are beta testing iOS 14, the app will not work. The contact tracing API only works on devices running the public version of iOS.

Update: Brazil on Friday launched, Coronavirus - SUS, a coronavirus tracking app based on Apple and Google's Exposure Notification API.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 540member
    Which New York State with adopt this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,022member
    Show of hands. Canadian or otherwise, who’s going to install and use any of these contact tracing apps? No fibbing please. 😁
    cat52watto_cobraAnilu_777
  • Reply 3 of 12
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 843member
    JWSC said:
    Show of hands. Canadian or otherwise, who’s going to install and use any of these contact tracing apps? No fibbing please. 😁
    I'm glad you used the proper word "tracing" rather than the more loaded and inaccurate word "tracking".

    Canadian: already installed.

    I had installed the Alberta Trace Together app and then realized it wasn't actually useful. It predated the release of the Apple/Google API and had to be the front running app, with the phone awake, to work.
    gregoriusmjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    bsnjonbsnjon Posts: 33member
    While this is available everywhere, the  most useful feature is only available in Ontario for now. It will roll out across the country later. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,761member
    JWSC said:
    Show of hands. Canadian or otherwise, who’s going to install and use any of these contact tracing apps? No fibbing please. 😁
    Canadian in BC. Already installed and I'll put it on my wife's phone tonight when I get home.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,789member
    JWSC said:
    Show of hands. Canadian or otherwise, who’s going to install and use any of these contact tracing apps? No fibbing please. 😁
    I absolutely will if there's one deployed in my state.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    JWSC said:
    Show of hands. Canadian or otherwise, who’s going to install and use any of these contact tracing apps? No fibbing please. ߘ᦬t;br>
    Canadian in Ontario, installed. 
    edited July 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12
    willettwillett Posts: 25member
    JWSC said:
    Show of hands. Canadian or otherwise, who’s going to install and use any of these contact tracing apps? No fibbing please. 😁
    Totally anonymous, easy to use, and tells you if you've been exposed to an infected person.  False negatives inversely proportional to number of participants.  Why on earth would you not use it if widespread and/or encouraged by your jurisdiction?
    watto_cobraspheric
  • Reply 9 of 12
    JWSC said:
    Show of hands. Canadian or otherwise, who’s going to install and use any of these contact tracing apps? No fibbing please. 😁
    I have downloaded the Swiss Covid app, which was released in Switzerland on June 26.  GAEN API exists thanks to the work of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne and Zurich.  They came up the the design for a decentralised privacy preserving proximity tracing app using Bluetooth and met, first with Apple, in an effort to obtain permission to obtain chip-level control of Bluetooth Low Energy, so that the app could operate in the background.  Apple at the time was working on its own tracing app, and was wrestling with determining proximity without using GPS, which the DP-3T group had already solved.  Apple wanted to using the design in its own app, but the group persisted in demanding only an API, arguing that every country, and, in larger countries, every jurisdiction had different requirement.  Once Apple was amenable, Google was approached.  It, too, was working on its own app.  Long story short:  The documentation and Open Source code for the Swiss app, including prototypes and testing modules, can be found on github/DP-3T.

    The app does not require overwhelming adoption. It would suffice, for example, if most people in a particular setting, e. g. commuters between two cities, adopted it, as conventional tracing doesn't work well in such a setting.
    jony0willettwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,245member
    Related, there's about 20 US States now working on tracing apps using the Apple/Google API. While that seems like a poor showing those 20 cover nearly half the US population. It's a start. 
    Anilu_777spheric
  • Reply 11 of 12
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 272member
    JWSC said:
    Show of hands. Canadian or otherwise, who’s going to install and use any of these contact tracing apps? No fibbing please. 😁
    Canadian in Ontario here. Downloaded as soon as I saw it. I hope everyone with a smartphone uses it. 
  • Reply 12 of 12
    American, in Kentucky.  If KY, or the US, develops an app using the Apple-Google API, I'll be more likely than not to install it.
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