Professor Ray Publishes Paper on Digital Contact Tracing Apps for Covid-19

January 11, 2021

Professor Brian Ray, along with co-author Professor Jane Bambauer (University of Arizona), published “Covid-19 Apps are Terrible — They Didn’t Have to Be,” an article on Lawfare. The article was also featured in a companion Lawfare Podcast. In the podcast Professor Alan Rozenshtein, from the University of Minnesota, discusses the topic of contact tracing in America with Professor Ray and Professor Bambauer.

Tracing Apps for Covid-19

In the paper, Professors Ray and Bambauer explain how state and federal governments, as well as private companies, “prioritiz[e]d a fetishized notion of individual privacy over collective public health,” resulting in a series of decisions that made digital contact tracing extremely ineffective in the United States. They observe, “[t]he reluctance to leverage communications technologies to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus was so strong and so pervasive that the COVID-19 apps in operation today are underpowered and undersubscribed by design.”

In their conclusion, they point to lessons in which to improve preparedness for a future public health crisis in the United States.

Professor Ray is the Leon M. and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law and director of the Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection.

To read the full article here.

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