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What Role Can Tech Play in Pandemic Response Plans? The Potential and the Risks Posed by Contact Tracing Apps.

May 14, 2020 @ 11:30 am - 1:15 pm


We are seeing increasing numbers of pandemic response plans that rely on a combination of ramped up coronavirus testing and contact tracing to detect the people who need to be isolated and permit others to begin to return to life as normal. In this age of big data, these proposals seek to combine traditional public health contact tracing with digital tools. Proponents urge that smartphone applications based on Bluetooth technology may assist public health officials to conduct contact tracing at scale, but these plans have also raised a number of concerns from public health experts and privacy experts alike.

As states and localities begin planning how to open up their economies to increase public engagement with businesses and other services, questions around the efficacy of contact tracing apps will become even more prevalent. This webinar will explore what role contact tracing apps can play in the fight against the pandemic, as well as the public health, privacy, and equity issues involved. Experts from the tech industry, public health, policy making, and civil society will help in breaking down why people are looking to these apps to aid pandemic response planning and why decentralized Bluetooth apps — which still have many limitations — are better from both a public health perspective and a privacy perspective than permitting the government to collect cellphone location information.

Join New America’s Open Technology Institute on May 14, 2020 to be a part of the conversation.

To register for this event, visit OTI’s website here.




New America’s Open Technology Institute