Location tracking during Covid-19: An EthicalGEO Pod Episode

Geospatial data and tools, including personal location tracking, are extremely valuable for policy planning, public information, and public health response, and may play a valuable role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many privacy experts are concerned that a renewed impetus to collect the location of all global citizens leads to massive infringements on their rights to privacy and could set dangerous precedents for the future.

On March 25, I joined three other EthicalGEO Fellows for a Pod Episode from the American Geographical Society which focused on COVID-19 as it relates to location tracking and personal privacy concerns.

As COVID-19 continues its spread across the globe, and many governments are turning to location tracking to study the spread of the disease, the topic of this Pod Episode is very timely. The episode was hosted by Katherine Cann, AGS Manager of Sponsored Projects and Initiatives, and included me and these three other EthicalGEO Fellows.

  • Mr. William Perry Evans, Project Manager for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap
  • Dr. Alfredo Giron-Nava, Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Future Earth & National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Dr. Dara Seidl, Independent Researcher and recent Ph.D. graduate of the joint doctoral program between San Diego State University and UC Santa Barbara based in San Luis Obispo, California

I found the Pod Episode very insightful and I hope that you do too.

If you are interested in the use of GIS for COVID-19, consider attending the GIS for COVID-19 online roundtable on April 1, a King County GIS User Group special meeting

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