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Tech to Contain Coronavirus on College Campuses Sparks Fresh Privacy Concerns


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Contact-tracing apps.

U.S. colleges racing to contain the Covid-19 pandemic with technology are considering the use of contact-tracing applications and facial recognition, prompting concerns about privacy.

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

U.S. colleges are racing to contain the Covid-19 pandemic with technology including contact-tracing applications and facial recognition, prompting concerns about privacy infringement.

The University of Alabama plans to deploy an app that uses Bluetooth to alert students if they crossed paths with someone who tested positive for coronavirus, while Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY, intends to install temperature-screening kiosks in lobbies that employ facial recognition to check students' health.

The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project's Albert Fox Cahn warns that colleges under financial pressure to reopen are rushing untested technologies, which could jeopardize both privacy and public health.

Some professors and school administrators are pushing back on the expansion of contact tracing solutions. David Wall Rice, associate provost at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, said such technology "could backfire. It can certainly be problematic in thinking about the surveillance and policing of black bodies, black men in particular."

From The Washington Post
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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