The Trudeau government’s heavily marketed COVID Alert app was only downloaded by a small percentage of Canadians.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, in a submission to the Senate finance committee, the Public Health Agency of Canada said that the app was downloaded on 6,361,424 cell phones, or just 18.8% of all Canadian cell phones.

The app cost the government $480,000 to develop and $16 million for marketing. In previous statements, Trudeau had aimed to have 50% of Canadians download the app.

“We know solid data is the foundation for making the right public policy decisions,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when announcing the app in June. “This is an approach we are confident is going to make a big difference.”

The COVID Alert app asks Canadians who tested positive for COVID-19 to upload their information onto the app, which would then notify other app users which may have had contact with the person.

Of the 913,047 people who had tested positive at the time of the submission, only 21,048 reported their diagnosis on the app, around 2.3%.

With few Canadians downloading the app and even fewer using it as intended, health experts have called the COVID Alert app “completely useless.” 

Despite claims from the federal government that the app will protect your information and keep your identity hidden from others, the Office of Canada’s Privacy Commissioner has stated there is a chance anonymity may not be maintained.

Privacy concerns have been the main reason why people have consistently refused government COVID-19 tracing apps around the world.