One of the key aspects of most plans to reopen the economy is digital contact tracing. This would be an apparatus whereby mobile phones kept track of the other mobile phones they had been physically proximate to, so that if someone were diagnosed with COVID-19, the at-risk people they had been in contact with could be notified. Apple and Google have proposed one plan while a European consortium is working on another.
At the center of the issue is whether contact tracing can be done in a way that doesn’t violate privacy and doesn’t open a Pandora’s box of new issues around the data governments have on their citizens.
Today’s episode of The Breakdown explores the crypto community’s response to contact tracing and why we don’t need big brother to beat the virus.