One Big Thing: Are you willing to give up some of your privacy to the government to slow the spread of COVID-19?
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What is it?
- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, many concerns have been raised about personal privacy particularly around contact tracing.
- Apple and Google announced that they will enable contact tracing as a method by which people would be tracked by their cell phones to document and then limit the spread of the virus.
- There has also been talk about airlines requiring an immunization passport to fly despite there being no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected from a second infection.
Why is it important?
- While slowing the spread of COVID-19 is critical, the response must be transparent and accountable – especially in terms of technology. An effective response should take into concern both public health and human rights.
- One recent study by Pew Research showed that most Americans do not think tracking people’s location via cell phone would slow down the spread of COVID-19 and 7 in 10 believe that their information on their cell phone is already being tracked.
- Despite the arguments against it, there are huge benefits to contract tracing if done right. South Korea has been a prime example of this practice, both from an effectiveness standpoint, but also addressing the privacy issues.
What can you do?
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