Reporting in the Washington Post revealed the Trump Administration is discussing partnership with major tech companies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by leveraging users’ location data
Washington (March 19, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today sent a letter to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) regarding recent reports that it is considering future partnerships with companies including Google, Facebook, IBM and others, some of which would involve analyzing information about the location of those companies’ users, to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. In his letter, Senator Markey affirms that the federal government “must use technological innovations and collaboration with the private sector to combat the coronavirus,” but raises concerns about the privacy risks that location data collection and processing pose.
“A person’s location information can reveal other sensitive details, such as a place of employment, religious affiliation, or political preferences,” writes Senator Markey in his letter. “We need assurances that collection and processing of these types of information, even if aggregated and anonymized, do not pose safety and privacy risks to individuals.”
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can be found HERE.
The Senator asks for response to questions that include: