COVID-19 privacy protection bill introduced with bipartisan support

A global pandemic is no excuse for sticking your nose in other people's private data.

Enlarge / A global pandemic is no excuse for sticking your nose in other people’s private data. (credit: Getty Images)

A group of lawmakers from both parties is putting forth legislation that aims to protect Americans’ privacy and personal data while advancing public health initiatives in the face of COVID-19.

Well over 100,000 people in the United States have died as a result of the current pandemic, which is far from over. Mitigating the further spread of the disease will require robust contact tracing, among other efforts. The scale of tracing required, however, is enormous and difficult to manage.

In the modern era, any issue of scale is met with the promise of an app, and contact tracing is no different. Apple and Google worked together on an API for contact tracing, which was recently deployed to phones. But public confidence in contact-tracing apps is already mixed at best, and recent statements by state and local governments conflating public health contact tracing with police investigation of protesters have sown further distrust.

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Source: Ars Technica – COVID-19 privacy protection bill introduced with bipartisan support

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