Tech companies Apple and Google recently announced a partnership to help public health officials contract people if they could possibly have come into contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Gary Mangiofico, executive professor of Organizational Theory and Management at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, tells Inside the Issues the “exposure notification” tool uses Bluetooth technology to send alerts.
After a person is tested at a testing facility, the positive test result is reported to the health department, and with the person’s consent, the health department would send out an alert to anybody who was in close proximity to the person who tested positive that they have had potential exposure to the virus.
According to Mangiofico, the technology doesn’t release identifying data or location on the user. The technology companies have also agreed that any use of this technology, any data should not be monetized for any purpose, he said.
When it comes to privacy concerns, Mangiofico said, “You’re in control of how you participate.”
Tremendous safeguards have been put in place and both Apple and Google have shifted the application development and control to the health departments.
“Contract tracing is always just as good as the willingness of people to participate and to share data. What this technology is able to do, because it’s not housed in the cloud or anywhere, your data doesn’t go anywhere, it stays right on your phone, and therefore you’re in control of it,” he said. “You also have the ability to turn off this technology at any point. So, you’re in control of how you participate.”
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