Coronavirus Canada Udaptes: Alberta premier says federal government is preventing Apple from fixing issue with contact tracing app

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Coronavirus Canada updates: $4 billion in financial support to go to Ontario municipalities
Coronavirus Canada updates: $4 billion in financial support to go to Ontario municipalities

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the federal government is Apple from working with the province to resolve an issue with its existing contact tracing app.

Currently, the ABTraceTogether app requires Apple users to have the app open on the phone the whole time to operate properly.

“Unfortunately, the Government of Canada has told Google and Apple to not work with the Government of Alberta…on improving the Trace Together app,” Kenney said. “They’ve done so because they say they want cooperation on a single national platform.”

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (OIPC) has identified concerns about the need to have the app running in the foreground of an individual’s phone.

“Given the need to run ABTraceTogether in the foreground on Apple devices, there is a security risk,” Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton said in a statement. “Running the app on Apple devices requires a device to remain unlocked, which significantly increases risk in case of theft or loss.”

Alberta’s premier said he will continue to request that the government not put a “barrier” in the way of fixing the contact tracing app.

“We have made repeated requests for the federal government to remove their barrier, their objection to Google, Apple and other major tech companies working directly with us to improve the functionality of the app,” Kenney said.

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