The Problem with Contact Tracing

Author: Reece Dunham
Date: Jun 17, 2020
Tag: pandemic

Hello! I know, it has been a while since I last posted, and I’m very sorry about that. I’ve been super busy with a number of projects, as well as trying not to get infected! Today I’d like to take a look into contact tracing, also known as trying to track the spread of COVID-19 from person-to-person.

The basic idea is that you make a list of everybody a confirmed patient has had contact with, and then inform those people, and generate data just like that, forming a almost spider-web looking chart of the people who could have been impacted.

In theory, this seems like something that needs to be done, but in practice, it is a bit of an invasion.

Here is my reasoning:

  1. You are giving a stranger a list of people who you have been near. Who is to say they won’t use that information in a harmful way?
  2. Even if the person performing the trace has good intentions, that doesn’t mean whoever sent them doesn’t.

Several nations have already implemented systems like this, but they have proven to be prone to the flaws I mentioned above.

I believe that we should put a bit more thought into the decisions we make before we take them. The pandemic has caused panic, which may cloud the judgement of some individuals. We need to overcome this, and think first! Logic is very helpful in times like these.