Contact tracing apps: Public health vs data privacy
Updated: Jan 3
Contact tracing, together with testing and isolating COVID-19 patients, helps contain the spread of the virus, absent a vaccine. Digital technology can speed up contact tracing by using mobile apps. With the use of communications data, GPS, and/or Bluetooth technology, the app determines when users are in close proximity with each other for a sufficiently long period of time, enough to transmit the virus. When a user reports COVID-19-like symptoms to the app, it will trace the devices that came in contact with the user’s device and notify the concerned parties and authorities.