Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Apparently you'll share your data to stop coronavirus

New Parks Associates survey says most of us are up for contact tracing, if the conditions are right.

Beyond the masks, distancing and the development of an eventual vaccine, the novel coronavirus is being fought on the streets with data: Who has it and who have they been in contact with? But people are pushing back on the idea of contact tracing in an era when many of us have had enough of the ways technology tracks us. Now what?

Parks Associates has just completed a survey of consumers' willingness to share phone data to help control COVID-19. 52% said they would be, and another 20% said yes if they were afforded at least one basic assurance, like making the process opt-in or anonymized. "It's pretty strong validation that this could be an option that some consumers are willing to do," says Jennifer Kent, Senior Director at Parks Associates. "For this moment, for this purpose, it's something that a lot of consumers are open to."

One of the strongest predictors of a person's willingness to have their contacts traced is whether they know someone with the virus, even if that person isn't sick. "If you know somebody in your social circle who has tested positive for COVID-19, you're much more willing to share your data," says Kent. "And as the pandemic continues on, there will be a higher percentage of the population that knows somebody who has tested positive." Parks found that about 7% of their respondents knew someone with the virus in March, a number which rose to 35% of respondents by May.

From the article "Apparently you'll share your data to stop coronavirus" by Brian Cooley.

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