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Privacy advocates are working to ensure cybersecurity rights, and privacy is protected while Google, Apple, and Microsoft rush to design the API behind contact tracing apps for COVID-19.

Contact Tracing Apps for COVID-19 Highlight Privacy and Security Rights

Developing Contact Tracing Apps

Planning and initiatives are taking place to develop contact tracing apps due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These apps include new technology and enhancements that track the spread of the virus, uncover new infections, and help in the plan to reopen the economy.

API’s for Contact Tracing Apps

Public health authorities and many tech titans worldwide are rushing to create APIs or application programming interfaces that are vital to encompass the scope of the project. Many states are developing their versions of the app, and the University of Washington has partnered with Microsoft to assist public health agencies.

Interestingly, Apple and Google have also partnered to develop the API and use Bluetooth Low Energy technology that alerts people if they have been in contact with someone exposed to the virus.

Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks

Organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, and 200 scientists have released their findings that outline potential cybersecurity and privacy risks that developers should consider when creating privacy policies and building the API.

The ACLU is most concerned with ensuring policies and procedures do not become mandatory, discriminatory, or overreaches in scope. There should also be an exit strategy in place by developers to sunset the data when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Apple and Google have responded to the controversy with an open list that outlines it’s best practices and stating how the service will be dismantled when the pandemic ends.

Despite the reassurances, studies conducted by the University of Maryland and the Washington Post that conclude that three in five Americans would not use the contact tracing app. This is where the problems lie, as the app’s success rate is based on users who participate.

Primary Concern with Contact Tracing Apps

The primary concern is if potential users will embrace the technology to use it in the battle against COVID-19 despite possible security and privacy risks. Medical transcription will need to outline measures of the pandemic concerning these contact tracing apps.

Apple and Google recently released their API on May 20th with concerns over privacy remaining a hot button issue. Many leaders in the industry are working to uncover more in-depth matters to restore people’s trust in the new contact tracing apps.

New Challenges in Security and Privacy

This pandemic is causing security and privacy issues that are relatively new challenges. Public health officials have to map out new strategies with the prospect of contact tracing initiatives within medical transcription fields. Privacy regulations and laws will change continuously with consumer perceptions based on data use by private and public corporations and agencies.

In the ways that the response to COVID-19 will evolve with have significant implications on how data protection laws will be shaped in the future. This will directly relate to the U.S. as the country has yet to enforce national privacy protection laws.