Timotheus Hoettges, Chief Executive Officer of Germany’s telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom AG, holds a mobile phone as he attends the presentation of the new contact-tracing smartphone app that will use Bluetooth short-range radio and technology standards from Apple and Google to alert people of the risk of infection from coronavirus, in Berlin, Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Germany has launched a coronavirus tracing app that officials say is so secure even government ministers can use it. Smartphone apps have been touted as a high-tech tool in the effort to track down potential COVID-19 infections. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP)

COVID-19 tracing app starts beta testing after three-week delay

COVID Alert app is supposed to track phones’ locations without collecting personal data anywhere centrally

The federal government says a smartphone app meant to warn users if they’ve been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 is now in beta testing.

The app was supposed to be tried in Ontario starting early this month but the trial to look for bugs and other problems was delayed.

Now the Canadian Digital Service, an agency that puts federal services online, is asking people to sign up and try the app out.

The COVID Alert app is supposed to track phones’ locations without collecting personal data anywhere centrally.

Then users can be told if their phones have recently been near the phone of a person who later volunteers that they have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

In the test phase, the agency says the app will send false alerts just to make sure the system works.

The Canadian Press

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