Tag: COVID-19 and Privacy

On the COVID Front Lines

Protecting Privacy or ‘Outing’ Patients in Contact-Tracing

By Tammy Joyner

At 86, Wilhelmina Wilson takes no chances when it comes to safeguarding her health during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York.

She stays squirreled away in her one-bedroom co-op apartment in Queens, where she has lived since 1976.

When she ventures out, she’s armed with disinfectant sprays and wipes for elevator buttons and doorknobs to the building’s incinerator and laundry room.

She’s en garde anytime she hears of new COVID-19 infections.

Still, Wilson worries.

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Is the US Heading Toward a Surveillance State?

By Charles McDermid

As Silicon Valley gears up to help Washington fight the COVID-19 pandemic, concern is intensifying that the United States still lacks the legal framework needed to protect data privacy during and after the public-health crisis.

A group of U.S. senators last week introduced the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act. The legislation, according to a news release, “would provide all Americans with more transparency, choice and control over the collection and use of their personal health, geolocation and proximity data.”

The move comes a short time after Apple Inc. and Google said they were developing a “contact-tracing system” that would use wireless signals to track the spread of coronavirus.

News reports indicated that within months the tracking system would be built into billions of smartphones. 

Continue reading “Is the US Heading Toward a Surveillance State?”