Senator Markey Says Contact Tracing Plans Must Protect Privacy

April 22, 2020

Senator Edward Markey [D-MA] has outlined nine key principles to guide federal leadership on coronavirus contact tracing in the United States. In a letter sent today to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Senator Markey urged the administration to design and implement a comprehensive coronavirus contact tracing plan with key privacy safeguards. In a statement to the Senate and House Commerce Committees last week, EPIC said it is "essential that government agencies and private companies implement standards that safeguard privacy." EPIC's letter followed 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."

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