SN 765: An Authoritarian Internet?

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

Nice to see Steve counter Bruce’s comments on the futility of a tracing app.

I would say the app is going to be a better indicator than people’s memories, when questioned about where they were and when over the last 14 days.

It won’t be a sole indicator, but it will help narrow down who to contact and who to test, when combined with the existing manual interview method.

It relies on people having the app, having their phones with them and contacting authorities when they are informed that they might have had contact with somebody who was infected. It isn’t a panacea for tracking infection, but it is an additional tool to help refine the available information about possible infections.

For privacy reasons the apps work arse backwards - i.e. at the moment, the infected person is interviewed and asked who he had contact with and the authorities try and contact those persons to see if they are at risk and whether they need to be tested etc. The app works the other way round, the infected person doesn’t know who was in range of their app and the authorities don’t have that information either, so it means somehow correlating known infected persons with the anonymous data in the app to try and work out whether they were exposed or not and whether they might be infected and need testing (i.e. they have to wait for the people who have been notified to come forward and then try and work out from there the known infected persons and movements, whether the contact was serious enough to warrant further investigation / testing).

I have done this type of contact work before…I can’t imagine it is even feasible on this scale. Hopefully the tracking app is “safe”. Hopefully if it is it will be used enough to demonstrate the reach of this disease…