How COVID-Tracking Phone Apps Failed
In this episode, I interview Jane Bambauer on the failure of COVID-tracking phone apps. She and Brian Ray are the authors of “COVID-19 Apps Are Terrible—They Didn’t Have to Be,” a paper for Lawfare’s Digital Social Contract project. It turns out that, despite high hopes, the failure of these apps was overdetermined, mainly by twenty years of privacy scandalmongering and regulation. In essence, Google and Apple set far too strict rules for the apps in an effort to avoid privacy-based political attacks, and the governments that could have reined them in surrendered instead, also in order to avoid privacy-based political attacks. So, we have no one to blame but ourselves, and our delusional valuation of privacy over life itself. Sometimes, privacy really does kill.
In the news roundup, we discover that face recognition suddenly isn’t toxic at all, since it can be used to identify pro-Trump protestors. Dave Aitel explains why face recognition might work even with a mask but still not be very good. And Jane Bambauer reprises her recent amicus argument that Illinois’s biometric privacy law is a violation of the first amendment.
If you heard the part of episode 344 last week about Silicon Valley speech suppression, you might be interested in seeing a further elaboration of proposal I came up with then, now a Washington Post Op-Ed. Meanwhile, Dave reports that Parler may be back from the dead but dependent on Russian infrastructure. Dave wants to know if that means Parler can be treated by the Biden team like TikTok was treated by the Trump administration.
Dave also brings us up to speed on the latest SolarWinds news. He also casts a skeptical eye on a recent New York Times article pointing fingers at Jet
Article from Latest – Reason.com