U.S. senator says Apple, Google must convince public that contact tracing will not violate privacy


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Smartphone software makers Alphabet’s Google and Apple need to convince the public that their efforts to build apps to help track who has been exposed to the new coronavirus will not lead to a violation of their privacy, Senator Richard Blumenthal said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Apple and Google have a lot of work to do to convince a rightfully skeptical public that they are fully serious about the privacy and security of their contact tracing efforts,” he said in an email statement.

Contact tracing is used to control the spread of infectious diseases and was boosted recently when Google and Apple said they were collaborating on apps that can identify people who have crossed paths with a contagious person and alert them.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Jonathan Oatis