Governments and scientists alike agree that ‘tracking’ is a key strategy for containing the coronavirus. It is now clear they intend to do so using technology like smartphones, a move that raises concerns about privacy, however.
Both US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made sure to mention the ‘Covid-19 Screening Tool’ app developed by Apple at their daily press briefing on Friday. According to the White House, the app “guides users through questions about symptoms and exposure,” using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “to help determine steps they should take, including testing.”
Considering how many Americans use Apple devices – almost 200 million, according to some of the most recent estimates – the app certainly seems like the ideal way for the authorities to identify and track everyone who might be displaying symptoms of the coronavirus.
There is no question that cell phone data can be, and is being, tracked. The video clip showing the dispersion of Spring Break-goers from Florida back across the US, which went viral on Thursday, is proof of that.