Thompson Rivers University

ArriveCAN app has flaws: Law faculty member

  Posted on: August 10, 2022

TRU Law faculty member Matt Malone spoke with Global News on Aug. 9 about privacy and data protection issues related to ArriveCAN, the Government of Canada’s mandatory border app. Malone raised concerns about a glitch in the app sending faulty quarantine orders to thousands of individuals in July.

“The government hasn’t provided sufficient transparency about why that happened,” he told Global News. “And there needs to be better accountability practices in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Although the app was launched on a voluntary basis, its use has become mandatory for all travellers entering the country under the Quarantine Act. At the same time, the government has disclosed very little about the app. It has classified the app’s underlying algorithm as a trade secret and has refused to disclose any of the app’s source code under a law enforcement exemption.

Malone noted that this lack of disclosure presented serious concerns in light of the glitch notifications. “It exposes fundamental problems we have with seeking redress under existing privacy and data protection laws,” he said.

Malone’s research focuses on trade secrets and confidential information.