AI expert weighs in on Canada's new tracing app

Monday, August 10, 2020

A Waterloo electrical and computer engineering professor provides feedback on the federal government’s COVID-19 app in a question-and-answer article released today.

Mark Crowley says the new technology uses Bluetooth connections and random codes generated and stored by an individual’s phone to track connections with other nearby phones that also have the app installed.Mark Crowley, electrical and computer engineering professor

“We should see it as one tool, among many, in society’s toolbox,” says Crowley, a member of the Waterloo Institute for Artificial Intelligence. “It isn’t perfect, and it won’t reach everyone, but it will reach a lot of people.”

Mark Crowley is an expert in artificial intelligence

He also addresses users' security and data privacy concerns.

"I am using the app, and my family is using the app. I do not have concerns about its privacy controls," he says. "However, people have raised many legitimate concerns about these kinds of apps in other countries and even the rollout of this particular one in Canada.

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