07.20.20. Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing

As questions loom over the use of federal law enforcement to curb protests in Portland and other places, we look at the fine line between contact tracing technologies and the erosion of privacy. 

As we begin another week, we remember Representative John Lewis, who passed away recently after a battle with cancer; also, controversy surrounds recent petitions calling for grocery chain Trader Joe’s to change the name of some of its products and labeling. However, our main focus this week involves recent ongoing protests in cities like Portland, Oregon, where things took a turn for the weird over the weekend with U.S Customs and Border Protection agents getting involved, as well as the appearance of a mysterious, scantily-clad female protestor that has been dubbed “Naked Athena” after photos of her performance appeared online.

Meanwhile, as the pandemic ensues in America and around the world, many privacy experts have concerns about the use of apps and other technologies to aid in “contact tracing” to help slow the spread of the virus. Does the use of technology to help save lives in midst of the panic have an Orwellian dark side? We explore this, and other ideas on this week’s edition of Middle Theory.

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