Do you want a "contact tracing" app on your phone? | The Tylt

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There's no question extensive contact tracing would make a significant difference in containing COVID-19; the problem comes down to implementation worldwide. Apple and Alphabet (Google's parent company) believe they can collaborate to find a solution. Per the Wall Street Journal's Sam Schechner and Rolfe Winkler:

The tech giants on Friday said they will release tools for software developers to create so-called contact-tracing apps that record when smartphones come into close contact with each other. Such apps could warn users if they were nearby someone later diagnosed as positive for Covid-19.

If the plan were to work, not only would the app require widespread adoption, but COVID-19 testing would need to be widely available. According to Schechner and Winkler, the tech giants put forth a diagram to show how the app would work:

Instead of tracking devices’ specific locations, apps using the new protocol from Apple and Google would track proximity to other devices. To do so, they would rely on a technology built into smartphones called Bluetooth that is normally used to connect wireless headphones or transfer files to nearby devices.
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Although the idea has great potential, privacy concerns abound. Per the Wall Street Journal: 

Privacy activists have taken issue with the use of location data even in fighting an epidemic because it can reveal very sensitive information, stigmatizing people and discouraging cooperation with public-health authorities.

Furthermore, some critics say if testing was widely available, a contact-tracing app would hardly be necessary

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Do you want a "contact tracing" app on your phone?
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