Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 15, 2020

There’s an app for that

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

According to reports, this is what will be needed to re-open California for business:

I think most of these are manageable, the only ones that might be problematic is the development of theraputics which feels beyond the control of the state of California and the contact tracing.

The contact tracing is not a big issues technology wise, I mean, South Korea, China, and Singapore all have developed technology to trace contacts to help control the spread, but these are populations where the government has a lot of control (China and Singapore) or the population is about the collective good (South Korea).   We in the United States have a big issue with how our data is controlled and are pretty protective of our privacy rights.

But, at this point, I’m willing to sacrifice some of my privacy right for a bit of normality to return to the world.  If this app then tells me I need to isolate  for 14 days because of exposure, I’m cool with this if it means the rest of the world can keep on (sort of) chugging.

With that said, it looks like our two biggest tech players Apple and Google, have started the process of making a contact tracing app palatable, plus since they control the OS on the vast majority of our smart phones, it’s as seamless as a software push even though it sounds like it would require opting in.

The biggest concern most people have expressed about the collaboration is that it will lead to damaging privacy violations. Democratic senators have led the charge here, sending an open letter to the companies expressing their fears. I’m less worried. For one thing, Apple and Google’s system is cleverly designed to maximize individual privacy; it avoids capturing location data and instead records only the proximity of your smartphone to someone else’s. And for another, I value my own privacy less during a public health emergency. I trust Apple and Google to prevent my personal health information from being identified as mine and shared with others, but given the design of the system, I fail to see how a breach would be catastrophic even if it did somehow materialize.

I mean, is this any more information than we’re already sharing with Google or Apple or Facebook or TikTok?

1 Comment »

  1. No need to sacrifice privacy in a technology solution

    Comment by Adrian MI Blakey — April 17, 2020 @ 7:41 am

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