John Snow famously used data to trace the source of a cholera outbreak, helping found the field of epidemiology. Data will play just as crucial a role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Cell phone geolocation data can help us contact trace. Individuals can use websites to report symptoms, both allowing us to triage patients to hospitals and recognize where outbreaks are flaring. While we remain at home, digital communication is the best method for releasing important public health information, such as the need to wash our hands or wear masks. Data can also raise questions and concerns. How can we respect privacy rights in an age of public health surveillance? How will large data holders and governments use the information we report them? How can we avoid misinformation spreading and undermining best public health practices?
Timothy Caulfield, I. Glenn Cohen, and Jackie Olson, will explore three areas of opportunity and concern for data in the COVID-19 pandemic, in a discussion moderated by Carmel Shachar:
contact tracing programs, including AI surveillance;
the role of big data holders in COVID-19 efforts; and
the impact of misinformation/disinformation.
This event will be recorded. Video and audio will be available a few days after the event.