Since the outbreak of COVID-19, universities across the country have rushed to adopt new apps and devices to monitor public health on campus. While we commend efforts to protect public health, mandating personal use of these health surveillance tools is the wrong call. Many of these programs are being implemented with little transparency and these experimental apps and devices often come with numerous privacy and security concerns.
No matter how well designed, technology is not a silver-bullet to solve this public health crisis. These novel applications ultimately rely on other measures, widespread testing and human follow up with contact tracing, to provide any value. In order for people to have trust in public health officials, these programs must operate transparently and ensure everyone has the opportunity to consent to (or withhold consent from) any surveillance measures put in place.
We can’t let rushed and untested solutions made during a crisis set a precedent for forced intrusions on the right to privacy and expose millions of college students to unnecessary risk. Use our petition to call on your university leadership to take the University App Mandate Pledge (UAMP).