Urgent Policies Required to Grant Public Access to Protected Health Information during Emergency Disease Outbreaks and Pandemics” is a new OpEd coauthored by DKI APCSS professor Dr. Deon Canyon and Research Analyst at the University of California San Francisco Dr. Sebastian Kevany, for Security Nexus. In this paper, they discuss the pros and cons of using tracking apps to stay ahead of disease outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

While some believe that contact tracing apps produce benefits as soon as users increase above 10 percent of a population, there remain PHI-related shortcomings in these approaches because such apps do not actually measure the circumstances that are known to be important in COVID-19 transmission. This lack of accuracy in granular data makes it difficult for both disease managers and individuals to benefit. Apps with inappropriately short infection-interaction algorithms will show too many people as possibly infected (as has possibly been the case in Singapore), while apps with inappropriately long infection-interaction algorithms will likely flag too few potential viral exposures.

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Dr. Deon Canyon is a professor at the Daniel K Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. The views expressed in this article are his own.

Security Nexus is a peer-reviewed, online journal published by the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.