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Contact tracing is recognized by health systems and governments as an effective method to identify individuals an infected person may have exposed to disease in order to notify those individuals and take action to prevent further spread of illness. Traditionally, the accuracy of contact tracing has been dependent upon an individual’s memory of (and willingness to disclose) where they have been and with whom they have been in contact in order to track down other people who may have been infected. Connected devices with geolocation capabilities allow for digital tracking of individuals, but also carries significant privacy issues.

On April 30, 2020, four senators (R. Wicker, R-MS; J. Thune, R-SD; J. Moran, R-KS; M. Blackburn, R-TN) announced their plan to introduce the “COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act of 2020.” The legislation’s goal is to regulate what geolocation and personal health information is collected, and how it may be used during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency announced by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar on January 31, 2020.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.