Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

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Derek Thompson+ Your Authors @DKThomp Writer at @TheAtlantic. Host of podcast CRAZY/GENIUS. Author of book HIT MAKERS. Talker on NPR's @hereandnow and @CBSNews. derek[at]theatlantic[dot]com Apr. 07, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

In the next few weeks, you're going to hear a lot about "test and trace" as a plan to get us from national quarantine to a semi-normal life.

I wrote about what tracing technology looks like in other countries—and what it might look like in the U.S. 

Americans are about to learn about a number of tracing possibilities—like "Waze for COVID" apps, or a national network of Bluetooth pings—that will strike some privacy advocates as something harvested from their darkest nightmares.

I have three responses to that.

1. The worriers are right. We should be vigilant that programs designed to monitor a pandemic not become indefinite surveillance programs.

And South Korea's (extremely successful) anti-COVID efforts have relied on a level of invasiveness that might shock most Americans.

2. There are ways to design these apps—e.g., by encrypting GPS data, or randomizing Bluetooth pings (see below)—that would protect privacy much more than the tracing programs we see in other countries.

3. If privacy is a human right, it exists in balance with other human rights. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs. Hundreds of millions are living under semi-house arrest. We should try to protect ppl while evaluating our options relative to the present nightmare.

You can follow @DKThomp.


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