Massachusetts Governor: State Will Not Adopt Digital Contact Tracing Without Privacy Protections

May 1, 2020

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) expressed skepticism about digital contact tracing yesterday in a press conference, saying in response to a reporter’s question about the apps: “That means if we incorporate something like the types of technology you’re talking about into this, we’re going to have to do it in a way that makes people feel comfortable that they’re not giving up some of their privacy and confidentiality because we incorporated an electronic app into the process.” Massachusetts has led the country in quickly building a workforce to perform manual contact tracing in partnership with Partners in Health. For digital contact tracing techniques, EPIC recently 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."

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