Before we use digital contact tracing, we must weigh the costs

20 08 2020

Washington Post
Editorial Board
May 1, 2020

THE PING of a smartphone usually means a text from a friend or a news story from a favorite publication. Soon enough, it could instead signal that it’s time to stay inside for 14 days. Technologists are coding furiously to create a plan for digital contact tracing that, paired with traditional manual methods and widespread testing capability, could ease the country out of lockdowns. But before the United States bets on Silicon Valley to solve its problems, leaders ought to ask themselves two questions: How well does it work, and how high is the cost?

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