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Illusions of consent and COVID-19-tracking apps


Reign Mack

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COVID-19-tracking apps help identify parties with whom a COVID-19-infected person had contact. The apps do so by drawing on information about the location of a person’s mobile phone and its proximity to other devices. Experts, including the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University, view this technology as a necessary boost to manual contract tracing by public health officials.

Countries are currently split into those where the government requires the use of these apps and those that do not. Mandatory contact-tracking apps are in use in China, India and Turkey. The rest of the world is following the voluntary route. Nations in this camp include Australia, Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

In the United States, however, the question is not whether the government is going to require the population to download an app to monitor their movement and contacts. No one is proposing that approach. Rather, the critical issue is how the government and private sector will restrict access to spaces and opportunities based on whether or not one “consents” to the use of an app or other monitoring device

For example, an employer may block entry to a workplace unless an individual has an app on his phone that uses Bluetooth to track location or copies a QVC code at a building’s entrance into an app. The future may be one of “no app, no entry” or even “no app, no job.”

continued . https://iapp.org/news/a/illusions-of-consent-and-covid-tracking-apps/
 
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