Government Efforts to Fight a Pandemic Challenge Data Privacy Concerns

Published on JD Supra on March 24, 2020

“In public health, we can’t do anything without surveillance. That’s where public health begins.”
-David Satcher, MD, PhD, U.S. Surgeon General, 1998-2002 

Media outlets reported this week that representatives from Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple are meeting with members of the White House to brainstorm about ways in which the “Big Four[1]”, can leverage the consumer information they possess to help in the war against COVID–19.  Specifically, the government proposes to combine artificial intelligence with geolocation data collected from consumers’ smartphones and other devices to track the movement of individuals.  Having knowledge about a population’s movement can help predict the future spread of the virus as well as pinpoint locations where an outbreak might be most severe.  

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