Press Release Consumer Privacy

Public Knowledge Welcomes Bill Creating Privacy Rules for COVID-19 Exposure Notification Apps

June 2, 2020 , , , ,

Yesterday, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the “Exposure Notification Privacy Act” to ensure that any exposure notification apps developed to assist with contact tracing will protect user privacy. Public Knowledge welcomes the bill for providing privacy protections for Americans’ data collected from these apps. 

The following can be attributed to Sara Collins, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“We need to regulate apps that provide COVID-19 exposure notification to protect a user’s privacy, prevent data misuse, and preserve our civil rights — and this bill offers a roadmap for doing all three. The bill marks a valuable first step in the long road ahead to protecting Americans’ data

“We urge Congress to diligently assess any new surveillance technology that purports to assist in the fight against the coronavirus. In the absence of comprehensive federal privacy legislation, Congress must act quickly and decisively to create privacy rules that prevent us from becoming a surveillance state. Americans shouldn’t have to choose between protecting their privacy — or their lives.”

You may view our recent blog post, “Privacy-Protective Contact Tracing Depends on More Than an API,” for more information on contact tracing as well as our recent graphic comparing various COVID-19 privacy bills.