A COVID-19 Balancing Act: Public Health and Privacy
April 29, 2020
Over the next month, states will start to loosen their COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions. Some of us will return to work, gather in small groups, and maybe even dine at a neighborhood restaurant. But what will it take to keep us safe and prevent new spikes in infections? Many experts say we will not be out of the woods until there’s a vaccine, but how would a national vaccination plan even work? At the same time, technological solutions are being proposed, especially related to contact tracing, the process by which public health officials can map and anticipate the spread of a virus, but technological solutions raise a whole host of questions on their own regarding privacy and civil liberties. Today we’re joined by professor Michele Goodwin, the founding director of the center for biotechnology and global health policy at the University of California Irvine school of law, and ACLU staff attorney Jennifer Granick who leads our work on surveillance and cybersecurity.
For more on this topic, check out Michele Goodwin’s interview on Slate’s Amicus podcast: https://slate.com/podcasts/amicus/2020/03/law-of-pandemics-coronavirus. And, read Jennifer’s article on Apple and Google’s Coronavirus tracking proposal: https://www.aclu.org/news/privacy-technology/apple-and-google-announced-a-coronavirus-tracking-system-how-worried-should-we-be/.