• Testing Canada's Official COVID App

    Canada's official COVID-19 tracing app is now available for beta-testing. To be clear, this is not the app for those entering the country and self-quarantining for 14 days, nor is it the tracing app that's been deployed in Alberta since the spring—both the Alberta app and this new national solution use Bluetooth, but it's only the latter that incorporates the Apple and Google tech now baked into Android and iOS.

    As I understand it, that tech works like this: every user is assigned a unique, encrypted and non-identifiable Bluetooth key, which updates frequently throughout the day. As you make your way through the world your exposure to other users is recorded by handshakes with their own unique keys. Periodically, your log of exposures is compared against a master list on a remote server for possible exposure to COVID, at which point you are alerted through the app. Apple and Google explain it better on this PDF.

    So far the app has been working as advertised, though I did have one expectation that is as of yet unmet. Currently the user is able to disclose that they've tested positive for the virus by entering a code from their test. However, there's no provision for the opposite—that is, to confirm a negative test result as well. I think this extra feature would make the app much more useful in, say, a scenario where I'm eventually able to visit a foreign country and am asked to provide proof of a negative test result upon entry.

    The beta is currently open for anyone to apply. If interested you can sign up with a valid email address via this link.

    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Testing Canada's Official COVID App started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. snoopygum's Avatar
      snoopygum -
      Without that ability to confirm negative test result, I'm not sure if this is any good at all. Wouldn't people who have fully recovered still be identified as positive?
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