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The day of reckoning for smartphone contact tracing is here – Source

Contact tracing via smartphones has reached a crucial moment. In early September, Apple and Google announced the release of an app-free COVID-19-tracing program that will alert users when they come into contact with someone infected with the virus. Until now, state public health authorities have released their own contact tracing apps using Apple and Google’s privacy-friendly “exposure notification” technology. Now, the bespoke apps are no longer needed, and this month, millions of iPhones and Androids around the country will ask their owners whether they want to enable exposure notifications. What will Americans answer?

Probably a resounding “no.” Despite the huge potential health benefits of smartphone contact tracing—especially if at least 60% of the population participates—many Americans will opt out of exposure notifications because Apple, Google, and the tech industry as a whole have lost our trust. And the only way to rebuild that trust is with new laws.

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