About 52 percent of Canadians don’t believe the government when it says that the COVID Alert app doesn’t collect personal information or geolocate users.
This statistic comes from a recent survey conducted by polling research firm Leger. The survey found that 29 percent of respondents did believe the government’s promise that the app doesn’t geolocate users, while 19 percent said they don’t know.
A whopping 46 percent of respondents said they don’t plan on downloading the app, while only 14 percent said they already have. About 20 percent said they plan to, and the remaining 20 percent said they don’t know.
The survey also found that 39 percent of respondents said they don’t believe the app will work, while 27 percent believe that it will. Around 34 percent remained undecided as they said they don’t know.
Interestingly, 73 percent believe that the COVID Alert app is a good idea. This is somewhat surprising considering that nearly half of the respondents said they don’t plan on downloading it. The survey notes that 27 percent said that they don’t believe the app is a good idea.
The federal government has repeatedly stressed that the app does not store or transmit location information. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has also supported the use of the app.
It’s important to understand that the app doesn’t use location services, and instead relies on Bluetooth. It uses Apple and Google’s notification API, which uses Bluetooth technology to share randomized codes with other nearby smartphones. These codes can’t identify users.
Leger conducted this survey by polling 1,513 Canadians over the age of 18 between August 7th to 9th. The data was then analyzed and weighted by its statisticians according to gender, age, language spoken, region, education level and the presence of children in households in order to render a representative sample of the general population.