What you need to know
- Critics say contact tracing has a "stunning blind spot".
- That's because not everyone has a smartphone.
- Some companies think we should use wristbands and badges as well.
A report from the Financial Times claims that private sector companies are trying to build their own contact tracing solutions, in part due to limitations of smartphone-based offerings.
The report states:
The report states that whilst government offerings can't be forced on citizens, it may be that companies can make tools mandatories. PwC's leader of connected solutions practice said that US businesses would have to tell its employees "If you're going to come back to the work environment, you need this app on your phone."
The report also notes how contact tracing using apps assumes the universal adoption of smartphones, which could in fact mean the most vulnerable groups in society are left out. One critic described it as a "stunning blind spot." That same company, Microshare, is reportedly proposing the use of Bluetooth items like badges and wristbands to make contact tracing more effective. Another company, Locix, criticized the lack of location tracing with Apple and Google's solution, suggesting that if would be beneficial to retrace the steps of an employee who was found to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, to allow for scrubbing of surfaces, tools, vehicles and more.
Recently, the German government u-turned on its own contact tracing approach and is now supporting a decentralized solution. The UK, however, has rejected Apple and Google's program, a move which will likely render the app practically useless.
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The willingness to race past the central question of whether you SHOULD track everyone's movements even if you could is incredibly scary.
If it's a company phone, they can put whatever software they want on it. Of course, that won't preclude me from putting it in whatever RF-blocking bag I want to put it in.
I think it's as significant that a pretty large percentage of us refuse to even participate in contact tracing.
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