Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced that his government plans to launch a nationwide COVID-19 contact tracing app based on the Exposure Notification API developed by Apple and Google.
iPhone in Canada reports Trudeau the app is slated for release in early July, with testing set to begin in Ontario soon.
Earlier today, it was reported that the UK government has scrapped plans to create its own centralized COVID-19 contact tracing app and instead will use the API solution created by Apple and Google.
The two countries will join a growing list of nations that will use the privacy-respecting API, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Latvia, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and others. At least three U.S. states are also adopting the solution.
Apple debuted the Exposure Notification API as part of its iOS 13.5 update, including it as a part of the system frameworks. The API is not enabled by default and requires users to install an app from their government that takes advantage of the API. However, governments have been slow to adopt the system.
The Apple/Google API uses a decentralized anonymous approach. It allows users to be notified when someone that reports positive for COVID-19 was in their immediate area but does not allow identifiers to directly be traced back to an individual by the government. Apps using the API can run efficiently in the background with a negligible impact on the device’s battery life.