COVID-19 Webinar Series – Debate on the Risks of Bluetooth Contact Tracing

The world is moving rapidly to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus - and the Center for Democracy & Technology's policy teams are working just as fast to ensure that government leaders, policymakers, and tech companies protect our civil liberties as well as our health. As part of our response, we are hosting a series of webinar discussions on some of the most important short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19. This series will create a space to hear from our experts, ask questions, and get up to speed on cutting-edge issues in technology policy. THIS EPISODE: Countries around the world, and state governments in the United States, are deploying Bluetooth-enabled proximity apps to notify people that they may have been exposed to a person who has COVID-19. Developers are scrambling to produce these contact tracing apps, and Google and Apple are developing an Application Program Interface to facilitate their deployment.

Are these apps effective, and can the privacy, equality, and “mission creep" concerns that surround them be addressed? This issue came to a head when Stanford Law School’s Albert Gidari and the ACLU’s Neema Singh Guliani headlined the latest CDT COVID-19 webinar and debate whether, at this time, the potential benefits of Bluetooth-enabled contact tracing outweigh the risks. Gidari argued the affirmative, and Guliani argued the negative.

Date aired: Wednesday, May 20, 2020


* Moderator: Avery Gardiner, Senior Fellow for Competition, Data, and Power, Center for Democracy & Technology

* Albert Gidari, Consulting Director of Privacy, Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society

* Neema Singh Guliani, Senior Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office

* Greg Nojeim, Senior Counsel and Director, Freedom, Security & Technology Project, Center for Democracy & Technology (introduction)

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