EPIC to Congress: Establish Privacy Safeguards for Digital Contact Tracing

April 15, 2020

In a statement to the Senate and House Commerce Committees, EPIC said it is "essential that government agencies and private companies implement standards that safeguard privacy." EPIC's letter follows a proposal from Apple and Google for a contact tracing app to "combat the spread of the novel coronavirus." EPIC cited public health officials in support of data protection and human rights. For digital contact tracing techniques, EPIC recommended that "(1) participation should be lawful and voluntary; (2) there should be minimal collection of personally identifiable information; (3) the system should be robust, scalable, and provable; and (4) the system should only be operated during the pandemic emergency." EPIC urged Congress to update federal privacy law and to investigate whether systems adopted in response to the pandemic safeguard the privacy of Americans.

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