Contact tracing apps are designed to help public health agencies connect the dots by linking confirmed carriers of novel coronavirus to recent, close-proximity interactions. In theory, this creates a protective safety net — a way for countries to manage the spread and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 at scale.
Despite good intentions, the push for third-party pairings produces a more pressing problem: privacy. In a June 2020 article about contact tracing apps, Forbes notes that failing confidence in app security could significantly reduce user adoption and limit the efficacy of this approach. Already, Norway has been ordered to shutter its contact tracing program and stop all data collection unless its government can demonstrate measurable benefits that balance privacy concerns.