BY ASHLEIGH MILLS KENTUCKY
KENTUCKY — As restrictions ease and businesses begin to reopen, Kentucky has launched contact tracing as a method of detecting who could have been exposed to the coronavirus and where they were exposed.
People are being hired to work on tracing data, through technology like smartphones, to pinpoint where infected people have been around others and potentially exposed them to the virus. As this kicks-off, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is speaking out on concerns over the process and its fairness.
In a conference call on Tuesday afternoon, the ACLU released guidelines it is hoping can be used to maintain fairness amid contact tracing. They also have reservations about immunity passport and temperature checks as folks return to work.
“If we as a country decide to go down the path of tech-assisted contact tracing, our lawmakers must first enact robust safeguards to prevent these tools from exacerbating existing disparities and violating our civil rights and liberties,” said ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Neema Singh Guliani.
Guliani claims about half of the people older than 65 have a smartphone, and about 30% of people making a salary below $30,000 do not have smartphones. So, the ACLU argues those who don’t have access to the technology should still have a way to be protected.
“Any use of a contact tracing app or technology much be part of a broader health plan, and a broader health plan that targets resources for individuals who are unlikely to be able to take advantage of such technology,” she said.
The benchmarks the ACLU lays out are:
- Voluntary use
- Use restrictions
- Enforceable rights
Guliani urges a safeguard wherein data collected through contact tracing not be used by law enforcement or immigration enforcement.