Privacy and the pandemic: We can protect public health without sacrificing individual privacy

Many countries are turning to cell phones and other personal data for tracking social contacts and locations during the pandemic. These efforts potentially pose a threat to digital privacy and anonymity of individual citizens and can easily be used for other purposes than protecting public health. In a recent article, computer scientist Stephanie Forrest argues that relevant public health data can be collected in privacy-preserving ways, both by using immunology-inspired algorithms and deploying state-of-the-art cryptographically secure methods.

Forrest is director of the Biodesign Center for Biocomputing, Security and Society. Read her complete article, “Complexity science and computer algorithms can help us address privacy concerns that arise with the pandemic” at