George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Balancing Privacy and Public Health in the COVID-19 Era

Event Details

  • Date:
  • Division: Program on Economics and Privacy

Balancing Privacy and Public Health in the COVID-19 Era

The desire  to resume “normal life” has brought issues surrounding privacy into sharp relief. Most experts agree that some form of contact tracing will be necessary in order to safely reopen the economy in the absence of a vaccine.  Several countries have turned to some form of geolocation tracking from smart phones to identify interactions with potentially infected individuals. In the US, major tech companies have been working on bluetooth based solutions.  Widespread adoption of these tracking tools will be necessary to contain the spread of the coronavirus, but legitimate privacy concerns surrounding these solutions may discourage people from opting into such a system, causing doubts about their efficacy.
On Thursday, May 14 as our panel of law and public health experts offered some guidance to policymakers working through these complex and pertinent issues.



Jane Bambauer, Professor of Law, The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Woodrow Hartzog, Professor of Law and Computer Science, Northeastern University School of Law

Daniel Barth-Jones, Assistant Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Berin Szoka, Senior Fellow, TechFreedom

Moderator: James Cooper, Professor of Law, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School and Director, Program on Economics & Privacy

Click here to view the event slides, and listen to a full recording of the event below!

Part 1

Part 2