Selin ATAY-TDO- Canada launched a smartphone app Friday that will alert people when they come closer someone who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau considered the app, called COVID Alert, as an “innovative” move that marks a new tool in the fight against the Covid-19. Yet, the app only works to identify COVID-19 positive people if they have the COVID Alert app.

The app was introduced Friday in Ontario that is Canada’s most highly-populated province. However, the app will be available in the other provinces and territories in the coming days.

“I’ve downloaded the app this morning and I encourage you to do the same,” PM Trudeau said, as use of the app is not compulsory. “The more people who use it, the better it can trace, and therefore slow, the spread of the virus,” he added.

“In fact, health experts say that if enough people sign up, this app can help prevent future outbreaks of COVID-19 in Canada.” PM Trudeau said on Friday.

“At no time will personal information be collected or shared, and no location services will be used,” Prime Minister said emphasizing privacy will be respected. 

“We are talking about a voluntary approach here, and this is why we intend to, as much as possible, to put in place promotion around this…it’s the same thing as a mask or anything like that,” a federal government told reporters at a briefing session.

While a few countries have been using a similar smartphone technology in their fight against coronavirus, primarily those in Asia, EU counties have balked because of the privacy concerns and technical problems.

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