Daily Digest (4/29)

UK Rejects Apple-Google Coronavirus App Plan; Poll: 79% in US Say Pandemic Will Bring More Surveillance; Privacy, Health Experts Say Arizona Officials Withholding COVID-19 Data; Businesses Betting on AI to Track Social Distancing, Limit Liability. Click “Continue reading” for more.

UK Rejects Apple-Google Coronavirus App Plan

The U.K. National Health Service has rejected Google and Apple’s plan for a COVID-19 tracking app, saying the one under development uses a different model.

The NHS says it has a way to make the software work “sufficiently well” on iPhones without users having to keep it active and on-screen, BBC News reports.

Under contact-tracing, apps would automatically alert people to whether they are at high risk of having the virus, based on whether someone else they were recently near has been diagnosed with it.

The devices log each time two people are within a certain distance of each other for longer than a specified period.

When one user registers as being infected, alerts are then automatically sent to everyone they could have passed it on to — possibly advising them to go into quarantine and get tested themselves.

The U.K.’s app would use a “centralized model,” with the matching process being done by computer, while the Apple-Google app would take a “decentralized” approach, conducting the matches on handsets, the BBC reports.

BBC, NHS rejects Apple-Google coronavirus app plan 

Poll: 79% in US Say Pandemic Will Bring More Surveillance

Seventy-nine percent of Americans surveyed by CyberNews said the COVID-19 pandemic will bring more government surveillance.

But 52% of the 1,255 adults surveyed this month via SurveyMonkey’s “Audience” platform said they supported keeping privacy rights intact.

Here are some survey results:

  • 89% support or strongly support personal privacy rights.
  • 65% would oppose government collecting data or using facial recognition to track whereabouts.
  • 52% believe that retaining personal privacy is more important than surrendering it to authorities to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

And in three hypothetical scenarios regarding contact-tracing apps — created by private companies, government, or by state-sponsors — respondents overwhelmingly opposed providing information through such devices.

Cyber news, In the US, Support for Privacy Trumps Fear of Pandemic 

Privacy, Health Experts Say Arizona Officials Withholding COVID-19 Data

Health and privacy professionals are accusing Arizona government officials of violating privacy laws by withholding COVID-19 data.

Arizona officials in multiple agencies are unlawfully withholding data, statistics, and information regarding coronavirus outbreaks and abusing health-privacy laws, ABC15-TV in Phoenix reports.

The experts singled out Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ, and Maricopa County Health Department Director Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine.

They refuse to release the names and locations of long-term care centers with positive coronavirus cases, the advocates say.

The Arizona Department of Corrections also has denied requests for numbers and prison locations of correctional officers who have tested positive, according to the report.

ABC 15, Experts: Arizona officials unlawfully holding COVID-19 information 

Businesses Betting on AI to Track Social Distancing, Limit Liability

Stores and workplaces seeking to avoid spreading coronavirus are equipping existing security cameras with artificial-intelligence software to track compliance with health guidelines that include social distancing and mask-wearing. 

The software will be crucial to staying open as concerns about COVID-19 persist, business owners tell Reuters.

AI will allow them to show not only workers and customers, but also insurers and regulators, that they are monitoring and enforcing safe practices.

“The last thing we want is for the governor to shut all our projects down because no one is behaving,” Jen Suerth, vice president at Chicago-based Pepper Construction Co., told Reuters.

The company introduced software from SmartVid.io earlier this month to detect workers grouping at an Oracle Corp. project in suburban Deerfield, Ill.

Buyers said the technology would work because they already have used similar tools for profiling shoppers and for detecting helmet scofflaws on construction sites.

Reuters, Companies bet on AI cameras to track social distancing, limit liability 

— By DPN Staff