On May 1, 2020, NJ Lawyer and Bianchi Law Group partner, Robert Bianchi appeared on Chasing News to discuss contact tracing technology that would help track COVID-19.
The idea of allowing Contact Tracing Apps to trace Covid-19 infected individuals is highly controversial and presents a fair debate between our civil rights to privacy, and the need to at times limit that privacy for the protection of the community.
Companies like Apple and Google are working on contact-tracing capabilities to trace those who are infected with COVID-19 and identify anyone who has come into contact with an infected person in order to limit the spread of this disease.
We debated these very issues on Chasing News.
Dr. Jeff Gardere explains how Contact Tracing Apps work which is by stating:
“…identifying and notifying those who have come in contact with an infected person has certainly proven to be a powerful weapon in the fight against the coronavirus, some countries have already developed and implemented contact tracing technologies and last month Apple and Google got into the game, announcing a partnership using proximity tracking and Bluetooth technologies to help reduce the spread of the virus…Participation will be voluntary, and while the companies say a privacy-preserving feature will be built in, we wonder if that’s enough for people to agree to use that.”
Many individuals are very concerned about the idea of allowing tech companies and the government to have access to personal information, posing major privacy concerns which may result in abuse and misuse.
Lisa Durden, Social Media Commentator, explains that she trusts protocols such as social distancing and wearing masks, however, her fear is prevalent when it comes to Contact Tracing Apps due to her being a black woman. She fears that the information poses a threat to her safety and can be used to discriminate and target individuals in the minority community.
So how do we make this work? How are we going to get people to voluntarily give information about a positive status of Covid-19 onto an app?
Criminal Defense Attorney and Former Prosecutor, Robert Bianchi Esq. explains how using this app is completely voluntary and emphasizes that you can delete the app at any point.
“It’s going to be run by the government supposedly… and you have to worry about the abuse, but given the gravity about this disease and its ability to spread, and our ability to have technology that can eradicate that, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing, and when it’s done an over you just delete the app.”
Contact tracing may become an important tool in effectively eliminating and slowing the spread of Covid-19. However, there is no question that previously similar tools have fueled mistrust with big tech and government in the past.
Bianchi believes that rolling out this application comes with a lot of challenges, but is a worthy endeavor to protect the community overall in these unique and dangerous times. He will be signing up! Then, when the threat abates, he will be deleting the app!
What are your thoughts?