Contact Tracing Apps

Saturday May 2, 2020 — oldfolio

I read both Bruce Schneier and Troy Hunt because their writings offer a useful window into how technically literate persons perceive technical issues. That window becomes especially revealing when Schneier and Hunt disagree. Installing a contact tracing app on your phone is supposed to alert you when you come into contact with someone infected with the COVID-19 virus – and also help governments track the spread of the disease. Hunt has been strongly pushing the use of these apps on Twitter and on public panel discussions. Schneier, by contrast, has been arguing that contact tracing apps “have absolutely no value” and that “the idea that contact tracing can be done with an just plain dumb.”

Schneier and Hunt are both smart, and both have large audiences. Moreover, the intersection of social practice and technology is an important focus in the writings of both. So, when one of them is pushing a position that the other considers “just plain dumb” I take notice. So far, neither has directly addressed comments by the other. Their audiences, however, have noticed the contrast, and I’m curious to see how the disagreement plays out.

Tags: security-experts