The COVID-19 crisis has struck the world unannounced, wreaking havoc on the most established healthcare systems.
The global pandemic mandated that billions of people stay in-home quarantine to avoid further spread of the virus.
Additionally, some governments and third-party institutions developed tracking apps to monitor the localization of patients with COVID-19 and track those who have been in contact with sick patients. However, and while this technology might have helped some countries control the spread of the virus, it still raises several questions of privacy issues.
In this article, we will discuss the spatial component of the COVID-19 crisis and how it could influence our future.
The spatial component of the COVID-19 crisis
COVID-19 is a respiratory tract infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 strain of the coronavirus.
Since this infection gets transmitted through respiratory droplets, patients usually infect those who get in close contact with them.
According to reports, the average COVID-positive patient infects 1–2 individuals. Unfortunately, patients can transmit the infection even while asymptomatic (i.e., do not present with the typical flu-like symptoms).
When experts attempted to break the transmission cycle, they noted the importance of isolating positive asymptomatic patients. However, that was easier said than done.
To counter this problem, we needed a system that signals everyone who has been in contact with a positively tested patient. Therefore, phone tracking apps seemed to be the perfect solution.
Here is how they work:
Whenever you get in contact with someone, both your phones will signal this interaction, which allows for retrograde recall of all interactions in the case someone tests positive for COVID-19.
While this system looks innovative and problem-solving, some people are questioning the potential misuse of this enormous amount of data and how it could be against privacy legislation.
After all, possessing information about the GPS location of every COVID patient is too much power to be held by one organization.
To add to the argument, some people are worried about the use of this technology in the post-COVID era, which opens the door for data misuse to gain financial profit.
This might seem like a worthwhile price to pay for the gained benefits of slowing down the spread of the pandemic; however, we should all be aware of the potential use of this technology in the wrong way.
Privacy concern regarding COVID tracking apps is a real issue that requires close attention to prevent any misuse of the gathered data.
Hopefully, this article managed to shed some light on this important topic; however, if you still have any questions, concerns, or something that you want to add, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below or reach out to us by clicking on this link (insert link of contact us page).