Photo: Pranay Chandra Singh

Apple and Google Announced a Coronavirus Tracking System. How Worried Should We Be?


In this opinion piece, Jennifer Stisa Granick of the ACLU warns against the privacy problems that could arise through the use of Apple and Google’s contact tracing technology to mitigate further outbreaks of COVID-19

Granick stresses the need to adhere to privacy and technology principles to protect the public’s best interests and prevent unnecessary data from being collected or misused.

“The public needs to know if it is a good technological approximation of what public health professionals believe is a concern. Otherwise, the tool could be collecting far more personal information than is warranted by the crisis or could cause too many false alarms.”

Granick concedes Apple and Google have considered privacy issues, but warns that consideration is not enough.

Privacy-by-design principles and ... policy safeguards ... must be core to that effort if we are to benefit from a proximity tracking tool

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