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Across the world, public health authorities are working to contain the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019). In pursuit of this urgent and necessary task, many government agencies are collecting and analyzing personal information about large numbers of identifiable people, including their health, travel, and personal relationships.
Special efforts by public health agencies to combat the spread of COVID-19 are warranted.
In the digital world as in the physical world, public policy must reflect a balance between collective good and civil liberties in order to protect the health and safety of our society from communicable disease outbreaks.
It is important, however, that any extraordinary measures used to manage a specific crisis must not become permanent fixtures in the landscape of government intrusions into daily life.
There is historical precedent for life-saving programs such as these, and their intrusions on digital liberties, to outlive their urgency.
The full blog and several actionable principles can be found at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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