According to a recent study, nearly 3 in 5 Americans say that they would be unable or unwilling to use the infection-alert apps being developed by Apple and Google to trace Wuhan coronavirus infections.
The Washington Post reports that according to a Washington Post–University of Maryland poll, almost 3 in 5 Americans say that they are either unable or unwilling to use the new infection-alert apps being developed by Apple and Google in an attempt to trace Wuhan coronavirus infections.
Breitbart News has reported that the tech giants have been working with public health authorities and university researchers to produce a system that would notify users who had come into close contact with a person who tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus. This is done by using the Bluetooth system on users’ phones to “ping” other users around them.
But this system faces multiple barriers, such as the fact that 1 in 6 Americans do not own a smartphone, which is required to run the tracing app. Smartphone ownership amongst seniors is also extremely low with just over half of those aged 65 or older saying that they own a smartphone, this poses a particularly large barrier as older citizens are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Among the 82 percent of American smartphone users, 50 percent said that they would probably use a tracing app and an equal percentage said they definitely would not. Willingness runs highest among Democrats and people who are worried about falling ill to the Wuhan coronavirus. Resistance to the tracing app is higher among Republicans and those with a lower level of worry about contracting the virus.
A major source of unease surrounding the apps was a distrust of Google, Apple, and tech firms in general with many worrying about their ability to protect the privacy of health data. 57 percent of smartphone users report having a “great deal” of trust in public health agencies while only 43 percent trust tech companies such as Apple and Google.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com