OTTAWA — Privacy commissioners from across the country are warning of potential risks associated with government COVID-19 apps used to trace the movements of Canadians.
Some provinces have already introduced smartphone apps designed to track users and notify them if they’ve been in close proximity to a person with COVID-19.
Federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien says the health crisis calls for some flexibility when it comes to the application of privacy laws.
But he says there is a way to use technology to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus without sacrificing fundamental rights to privacy.
The commissioners released guidelines for provinces, urging them to be transparent and accountable about how their apps work and what is being done with users’ personal information.
They say the apps should also be secure to safeguard personal data, which should be destroyed once the crisis is over.