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How to (Carefully) Use Tech to Contain the Coronavirus

Josephine Wolff reiterates the importance of privacy when using consumer data to track COVID-19 infections, via her New York Times Opinion column.

Across the world, countries have ramped up technological efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. South Korea and Singapore have used cellphone location information to identify possible infections. Russia is using facial recognition to enforce quarantines. In China, a smartphone app is being used to assess people’s contagion risks. Israel has turned to a previously undisclosed database of location data to track infections.

The United States is also considering using personal data to help policymakers address the pandemic, and is working with tech companies including Google, Facebook, Clearview AI and Palantir to figure out what kinds of data and tools can be leveraged to aid public health.

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