They say that using mobile phones to track COVID-19 cases may breach data privacy because the information collected using smartphones can be used for other purposes apart from the initial one. The author agrees that data captured from the smartphone through geofencing has previously been used during crime investigations without privacy infringement. They say surveillance can be used to track people who came into contact with the COVID-19 victim. Others say that using smartphone data to track the virus is needed, but he (the author) also disagrees by saying it can be an infringement on the privacy of Americans because the data collected can be used for other purposes down the road (Fussell, 2020). The WHO also agree that it is appropriate to use a smartphone to track the movement of those suspected to have COVID-19 (The Privacy International, n.d.). However, Palmer (2020); Shekhar & Shekhar, (2020), agrees that COVID-19 smartphone tracking app will not invade data privacy.
Privacy International says that using the smartphone to monitor quarantined victims will play a critical role in flattening the curve. I say this is a good idea because monitoring these people using the smartphone will be accurate and time conscious.
Palmer also says that using smartphone apps will not invade people’s privacy because the data collected will be anonymous, and it will help to fight and monitor the spread of this disease. I agree with Palmer because the date will be collected anonymously, and it will only be used to track movements patterns of citizen and not for unintended purposes.
Shekhar and Shekhar also agree that the government should use mobile data to stop the spread of coronavirus. Other governments such as Israel are already using this technology, and there is a need for other nations to adopt this technology. I say that this is the right time when governments should use the smartphone to track information about COVID-19 provided that they will not use this data anywhere else.
I used “they say/I say” template to agree or disagree with the author’s arguments. For instance, the author says that information collected can be used either appropriately or inappropriately. I agree and disagree with the authors because I believe that the government is likely to save people’s data, especially during the crisis to use it in future for other purposes. I say the government is also unlikely to use this information because it will only collect information related to COVID-19 and not anything more than that.
Fussell, S. (2020, March 21). How Surveillance Could Save Lives Amid a Public Health Crisis. WIRED. https://www.wired.com/story/surveillance-save-lives-amid-public-health-crisis/
Palmer, D. (2020, March 30). Coronavirus-tracking smartphone apps don’t invade privacy says data watchdog. ZDNet. https://www.zdnet.com/article/coronavirus-tracking-mobile-apps-get-green-light-from-data-watchdog/
Shekhar, S., & Shekhar, A. H. (2020, March 29). As COVID-19 Accelerates, Governments Must Harness Mobile Data to Stop Spread.
Scientific American. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/as-covid-19-accelerates-governments-must-harness-mobile-data-to-stop-spread/
The Privacy International. (n.d.). WHO recommends using smartphone-based electronic quarantine monitoring. Privacy International. https://privacyinternational.org/examples/3495/who-recommends-using-smartphone-based-electronic-quarantine-monitoring