The tradeoffs between privacy, health and safety — TripActions Community

The tradeoffs between privacy, health and safety

For me this article raises an interesting debate topic that's only been mildly discussed in the press, which is an area that will most likely be deeply debated at some point -- the trade-off of privacy rights for health and well being. If we look at HIPAA or any laws/regulations covering the protection of Personal Health Information (PHI) will 'thermal cameras' and subsequent checks be in breach of those rules?

"One U.S. airport – Paine Field in Everett, Wash., north of Seattle – recently installed thermal cameras just outside the TSA checkpoint to measure passengers’ temperature levels. “Passengers flagged as having a temperature will be offered secondary screening and if a fever is confirmed, the passenger and the airline will determine their ability to travel,” said Propeller Airports, the operator of the facility."


  • Aurelie_KrauAurelie_Krau admin
    edited May 2020

    Spot on, @Dave Packer. I believe next gen duty of care programs will highly rely on mobile capabilities, and this implies for example real time tracking capabilities that go way beyond knowing in which city or which hotel you stay at.

    Also, new data points will be (it has already started) required pre-trip + on-trip + post trip. You refer to temperature checks in your post, another example is Emirates who runs rapid blood tests (read here) and there will be more examples like this. One question that is high on the list of questions is a potential immunity passport (if we ever manage to find out whether we build immunity once we've been infected).

    The big question is (is there only 1 actually!) : who has the right to run such tests? Under what authority? Who can handle such sensitive personal data? Where is it stored? Who stores it? (so far I haven't heard of any kind of "trusted third party"). And above all, what are each individual's rights over our own personal data? I reckon the emergency will require GDPR to adjust... but we're far from being there -I can tell from a French market perspective.

    Fascinating topic!

    I've tried to raise some questions in this thread.

  • I would add what the push-back will be for these tests since many have a less-than-steller accuracy rate. There are currently NO FDA-approved virus or antibody tests at the time of this post. There are only FDA-Allowed. If you are not permitted to fly or travel due to a rapid response or some other test, but the data isn't accurate, what are the consequences of that as well? Giving up privacy for something that could be hit or miss depending on the test may not bode well and also be expensive.

  • Aurelie_KrauAurelie_Krau admin
    edited May 2020

    Good point, @WorkWellPlayMore - and there's the issue of: how many times will I need to be tested? Upon departure? Upon arrival? A few days after I arrive? Who will handle those tests?

    My tech geek gut feel would say we need a trusted authority to handle such confidential / personal / sensitive data. I came across this initiative and I find its potential very interesting: the development of a self-sovereign identity for air travel.


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