Governments of Canada and Ontario unveil Contact Tracing App

Jun. 18, 2020

Today the Prime Minister and the Premier of Ontario announced the upcoming launch of a new nation-wide mobile app to provide notifications of exposure to COVID-19 across Canada, with testing to begin in Ontario.

The Canadian Digital Service is leading the development of the app, in collaboration with the Ontario Digital Service and building upon technology developed by Shopify volunteers. The app will undergo a security review by BlackBerry. It incorporates Bluetooth technology provided by Apple and Google to anonymously record instances where users have come into close contact.

Downloading and use of the app is 100% voluntary and both levels of government have stressed that confirmed cases will remain confidential, that personal privacy will be protected.

In Ontario, the government’s enhanced strategy focuses on strengthening and standardizing case and contact management by:

  • Improving technology tools by modernizing the integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) through the implementation of a new custom-built COVID-19 case and contact management system; and
  • Launching a privacy-first exposure notification app to alert Ontarians when they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The app will be available for free download to Ontarians on July 2nd and for the remainder of the provinces and territories in the coming weeks.