Government says it fixed ArriveCAN bug that told iPhone users to quarantine

CBSA says only three percent of travellers using Apple devices received erroneous warnings to quarantine

The federal government acknowledged that an ArriveCAN app glitch told fully vaccinated travellers they needed to quarantine last week. However, the government says it fixed the bug.

As reported by Global News, ArriveCAN told fully vaccinated travellers who showed no signs of having COVID-19 that they had to quarantine. The mistaken warning was reportedly delivered to roughly three percent of travellers and it appears to have only gone out to those using Apple devices.

A spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) told Global that the CBSA and public health officials determine whether someone needs to quarantine, “not the app.”

However, the glitch has boosted growing concerns about ArriveCAN. The government introduced ArriveCAN during the pandemic, but unlike other pandemic-related tech (looking at you, COVID Alert), the government doesn’t plan to do away with ArriveCAN.

Instead, the government wants to modernize the border by getting people to use ArriveCAN to do pre-customs screening in an effort to speed up processing times at the border. So far, that hasn’t gone well. ArriveCAN is one of many factors contributing to chaos and delays at airports (although far from the biggest one), while some 40 percent of travellers at the Windsor border crossing aren’t using it. It’s created a situation where border service officers are just helping people fill out information in the app.

Moreover, others have pointed to issues with the app’s mandatory nature and data collection, highlighting privacy concerns. Bianca Wylie, a partner at Digital Public and co-founder of Tech Reset Canada, has written and tweeted extensively about issues with ArriveCAN.

The mandatory nature of ArriveCAN is especially concerning given the app’s various reliability issues. Mistaken warnings, bugs and other problems could be more easily forgiven if travellers didn’t need to use the app.

Header image: Shutterstock

Source: Global News