FedScoop: Agencies may want to establish a national strategy for contact-tracing apps

“Congress and federal agencies should consider establishing a national  strategy for the development and deployment of contact-tracing applications ahead of future pandemics, according to a Government Accountability Office study released Thursday.”

“Exposure notification apps alert users if they were near a person who later tested positive for a disease like COVID-19, allowing for faster, broader contact tracing to slow the spread.”

The absence of a national contact-tracing app led 26 states, territories and Washington, D.C. to seek out their own in a staggered fashion beginning in August 2020. Costs could reach as high as $700,000 and downloads range from 200,000 to 2 million from state to state.”

“’Policymakers could recommend a national app that public health authorities could decide to use based on their individual needs,’ reads GAO‘s report.  ‘A national app could add more functions by integrating exposure notification capabilities with test scheduling and vaccine delivery coordination.'”

“Current apps have a number of issues like the accuracy of their distance and exposure measurements, which can lead to inaccurate alerts.”

“A lack of independent privacy and security assessments, as well as federal legal protections, is a deterrent for potential users, and some states have struggled to encourage adoption…” Read the full article here.

Source: Agencies may want to establish a national strategy for contact-tracing apps – By Dave Nyczepir, September 10, 2021. FedScoop.

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