Should We Give Up Privacy to Fight Coronavirus?

Last fall, my wife was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had just recently finished her chemotherapy treatments. Because her immune system has been severely weakened, the COVID-19 threat to her health is potentially lethal. We decided to isolate well before the stay-at-home directives from state and local governments. 

By now we’re all familiar with one of the key ethical dilemmas that’s arisen during the pandemic: Do we isolate from one another and risk a catastrophic economic downturn, disproportionately hurting the poor and vulnerable but protecting the elderly and the high-risk, like my wife? Or do we risk public health by keeping the economy open?

Another ethical issue, however, is also emerging. It concerns the question of how best to use data and tracking technology to protect human life, while at the same time not sacrificing our personal privacy. 


The Rundown

Twitter Announces Blanket Work from Home Policy, Signaling ShiftMorning Brew

Yesterday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wrote in an email to employees that the company will allow almost everyone to work from home permanently. 

The Coming Disruption: Scott Galloway predicts a handful of elite cyborg universities will soon monopolize higher education.New York Magazine

Now, Galloway, a Silicon Valley runaway who teaches marketing at NYU Stern School of Business, believes the pandemic has greased the wheels for big tech’s entrée into higher education. 

Can a Smart Watch Detect Covid-19?Gizmodo

It might sound like science fiction, but there’s reason to believe wearables could be useful in detecting infections. Whether researchers can figure it out in time to make a difference against covid-19 is another story.

Snapchat preps young users to vote in NovemberAxios

Snapchat is leaning into civic engagement ahead of the 2020 race, and it’s hoping that its defining role is educating young voters about the election, while connecting them to candidates and tools to cast ballots.

Hospitals Deploy Technology to Reduce ICU Staff Exposure to Covid-19The Wall Street Journal

Hospitals are exploring the use of artificial intelligence and robotics technologies to assess patients remotely as they look to protect overworked emergency-room and intensive-care personnel from Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. 

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