Washington, DC – As Americans stay home during COVID-19, public health officials have been working around the clock to find ways to safely reopen local economies across the nation while using technologies to track outbreaks of the virus.
Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) outlined in an op-ed for Morning Consult how the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for a national data privacy standard so Americans can take advantage of technologies to stay safe from this virus without compromising consumer privacy. Read more below.
By Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
May 7, 2020
Public health experts tell us we need to embrace new technologies to end the coronavirus pandemic, save lives and restart our economy. In order to fuel these breakthrough innovations, people need to trust these tools do not violate their privacy. To build and keep consumer trust, it’s time we take action on a national data privacy standard.
Mapping anonymized data from smartphones, Google and Apple’s Bluetooth contact tracing and other emerging applications can help equip us to track COVID-19 cases and stop outbreaks. For this type of technology to work, widespread adoption is required. Without people’s trust that their data in these tools is protected from misuse by government or businesses, it will be difficult to generate the mass utilization needed to end the greatest health care crisis we’ve seen in a century and rebuild a booming economy.
To prevent a worst-case scenario, there should be a workable national standard for data privacy that sets clear rules for transparency on how data is used, stored and shared. When 73 percent of Americans say they don’t trust protections that change with a patchwork of state laws, a national standard is the best way to advance a pro-consumer and pro-innovation strategy.
Click HERE to read the full op-ed.