Now that COVID-19 lockdowns are slowly starting to lift in the US, a group of senators want to set privacy expectations for the contact tracing apps that could help keep the virus in check. Senators Marsha Blackburn, Jerry Moran, John Thune and Roger Wicker plan to introduce (via iMore) a bill, the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act, that would set requirements for data collection and transparency. The measure would start by requiring “affirmative express consent” for transferring health, location and proximity data, along with an opt out for those who aren’t comfortable. There would also be clear definitions of aggregated and de-identified data, and entities would need to both meet data security requirements and scrub any personally identifiable info after the pandemic is over.
The transparency measures would include disclosures for how data would be handled, where it’s going and how long it will be kept. Companies would have to provide transparency reports for their data collection as well.