The COVID-19 pandemic has brough the tension between individual privacy and public health initiative to the fore, in part because many of the solutions to the challenges of the pandemic proposed are digital. The first year of the pandemic has revealed that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is both too restrictive of traditional public health activities but also underprotective of important categories of health data. The failure of digital contact tracing applications to make a difference in combatting the pandemic during its early stages also illustrates the tension between individual privacy and public health surveillance. In order to harness the power of digital health to combat COVID-19 and other public health crises, we must resolve this tension through building trust in digital public health and modernizing our health data privacy regulation.
Balancing Public Health and Privacy: Lessons from Digital Contact Tracing for COVID-19 Vaccination Tracking Efforts,
St. Louis U. L.J.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.slu.edu/lj/vol65/iss4/6