Cell Phone Contact Tracing Being Questioned

Ninety-six percent of Americans have a cell phone. Many of those phones have the capability of providing information used for COVID-19 contact tracing.

Michigan’s Attorney General, Dana Nessel, has joined a coalition of 38 attorneys general in asking Google and Apple to prove that they are allowing the tracking exclusively for public health initiatives and that consumers’ personal information is protected. Nessel and the other attorneys general have asked for a guarantee that the contact tracing apps are removed once the COVID-19 crisis has passed and the data is no longer needed.

In a press release referencing a letter sent last week, Nessel said, “Technology can provide valuable resources like digital contact tracing and enhance our understanding of this deadly virus, but that tool must be wielded appropriately so it does not infringe upon the privacy of our residents.”

On iPhones, the tracing is turned off by default, and users have to turn it on. It is called COVID-19 Exposure Logging. On Android phones, it is called COVID-19 Exposure Notifications.

Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland