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[Slashdot] - Half of Americans Won't Trust Contact-Tracing Apps, New Poll Finds

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Before life can safely return to normalcy, we'll need an enormous increase in our ability to perform contact tracing -- identifying and contacting everyone who's been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19 so that they in turn can hunker down in quarantine and avoid infecting others. But, as Ars Technica reports, there are two huge problems with the massive contact-tracing platform that Google and Apple are working on. "First, billions of phones won't be able to use the tech," reports Ars. "And second: even among those who could, a solid half of Americans would refuse to because they don't trust insurers or tech companies with their health data." From the report: The 82 percent of US adults who have smartphones are exactly split on the issue, according to poll data released today by The Washington Post and University of Maryland. Half of the poll respondents said they probably or definitely would use a contact-tracing app, and the remaining half said they probably or definitely would not. While a majority of respondents (57 percent) expressed a reasonable amount of trust in public health agencies, less than half (47 percent) said they trust health insurance firms, and only 43 percent said they trust tech firms such as Google or Apple. Overall, the poll indicates that only 41 percent of American adults have both the technological capacity and the will to use a contact-tracing app. That's a problem, as research suggests that digital tracing would have to reach about 60 percent of the population to be most effective.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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