Op-ed: Rush to fight virus shows Utah has a privacy problem

Public officials across Utah working desperately to fight off the pandemic, as it continues to touch nearly every aspect of our lives, have decided to turn to tech.

In April, the state released the “Healthy Together” app developed by a company called Twenty. While Utah’s leaders were telling us that the app “will increase the ability of health workers and state officials to trace and contain COVID-19,” Utah’s Director of Information Technology told colleagues the app is “a joke.” The app has never delivered on its multi-million dollar promises, and now the state is ceasing to use the features that would enable contact tracing within the app.

It can be easy to excuse mistakes like this. Utah officials, after all, are leaving no stone unturned to get the upper hand on COVID-19. What’s the harm in a Hail Mary pass at this point?

Read the full op-ed at The Salt Lake Tribune

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CGO scholars and fellows frequently comment on a variety of topics for the popular press. The views expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Growth and Opportunity or the views of Utah State University.