Alberta launches COVID-19 contact tracing app

The government of Alberta of Canada launched a contact tracing app to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus, becoming Canada’s first province to roll out a contact tracing app. The app called ABTraceTogether is used on a voluntary basis and uses Bluetooth to log contacts with other phones with the app. Data, such as logged contacts and personal information, is encrypted and stored on the user’s phone for 21 days. If a user tests positive for the Coronavirus, the Alberta Health Services (AHS) will contact and ask them to upload their encrypted data, which allows authorities to notify those who came in close contact with the infected user. Information and privacy commissioner of Alberta, Jill Clayton said the AHS has chosen a privacy-preserving approach, considering the app is voluntary, collects minimal information, stores data in a decentralised manner, and allows users to decide whether to disclose logged data to the AHS in case they get infected with the Coronavirus.