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One in four respondents to a Threatpost reader poll said they were okay with sacrificing a portion of their personal privacy in exchange for some form of cellphone tracking that could – in theory – reduce coronavirus infection rates and save lives. While the majority of Threatpost readers were privacy absolutists, the coronavirus pandemic had some respondents siding – in spirit – with controversial tracking of U.S. citizens via their cellphones. When asked, “For coronavirus tracking, do you think public-health benefits outweigh privacy risks?” approximately 27 percent voted “Yes – Privacy and data-protection laws should not get in the way of saving lives.” Sixty-nine percent said, “No – A pandemic doesn’t give authorities the right to strip citizens of their privacy rights.” The poll results come as a report in The Wall Street Journal details how U.S. officials are already using mobile ad location data to study how COVID-19 spreads. The report said U.S. authorizes are using mobile ad location data to create a portal, containing geolocation data across 500 U.S. cities, in an attempt to help plan their pandemic response. The informal poll did reveal a slight change of heart when it came to privacy issues of others versus them. When asked, “If an app existed that told you who in your neighborhood was infected with the coronavirus, would you use it?” over a third (33.6 percent) of respondents said they would use it. Still, 58 percent said privacy implications were too…

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