DelBene Concerned About Big Data and COVID-19 Tracking

Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) is calling on the Trump Administration and tech companies to adhere to data privacy standards as they use Big Tech to help track, and ideally, control, the spread of the coronavirus. 

Related: White House Calls for Mining COVID-19 Data 

She was responding to Google's publication of cell phone location data reports from 131 countries showing how people are following social distancing mandates. 

She acknowledged that the pandemic requires using "every tool in our tool belts" to slow the spread, but does not want those tools abusing people's sensitive information. 

Related: Senate Commerce Schedules COVID-19 Paper Hearing

“The Trump administration and tech companies should set the global standard by adopting data privacy principles around anonymization, use limitations, data security, prohibiting re-identification, and destruction after the pandemic," she said. 

She pointed out that telecoms have restrictions on data sharing, but tech companies like Google and Facebook do not. She said the pandemic underscored the need for federal privacy legislation.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.