Yukon Ombudsman Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner Yukon Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner

Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner

Information and Privacy Commissioner issues information sheet for Yukoners on COVID Alert app

Thu, Aug 06, 2020

WHITEHORSE – The Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) for Yukon, Diane McLeod-McKay, has developed an information sheet for individuals who are considering using the newly-developed COVID Alert app.

The app was launched last week by the Government of Canada. Canadians can download the app onto their cell phones, in order to support contact tracing efforts to detect persons who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

“It is not surprising that Canadians have questions in regard to this new use of cellular phone technology,” said McLeod-McKay. “In an effort to help Yukoners better understand the COVID Alert app, we have put together a short information sheet, which also includes links to other sources of information.”

The information sheet, which can be found on the IPC website here, notes that privacy commissioners from across Canada were involved in reviewing any privacy risks associated with the app during its development. They found the risks to be very low. 

McLeod-McKay’s information sheet notes both benefits and shortcomings of the app. For example, one downside is that the app does not work on phones that are more than 5 years old. As well, only one jurisdiction in Canada (Ontario) has so far agreed to participate in the COVID Alert app system.

However, McLeod-McKay still sees benefits for Yukoners to download and use the app.

“If a Yukoner downloads the COVID Alert app and then travels to Ontario, they will be notified if they are in proximity to an Ontarian app user who has uploaded their positive COVID-19 test results into the app,” said McLeod-McKay. “Yukon app users will also receive this notification if an exposure of this kind occurs in Yukon, or in any other place in Canada, when an Ontarian app user tests positive for the virus and uploads their positive test result.”

Yukon app users will not be notified if they are exposed to another Yukon app user who tests positive for the virus, until Yukon is a participating territory.

If Yukoners have questions or concerns, they may contact the IPC office at 867-667-8468 or info@yukonombudsman.ca.

The Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner is an independent officer of the Yukon Legislative Assembly. For more information, please go to www.yukonombudsman.ca.


Elaine Schiman
Communications Manager
Office of the Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner & Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner
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