How The GOP Plans To Use Contact Tracing During Its National Convention

After a slow start, could electronic tracing solutions at big events and at the state level finally help curb the spread of the coronavirus?

By Shelly BrisbinAugust 13, 2020 12:44 pm, ,

When Republicans gather in two weeks for their national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, attendees will be required to wear face masks and they’ll be tracked around the convention hall by a system that monitors their contact with other people. It’s a tool that GOP officials say can help reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak, though others remain skeptical of the safety of the party’s planned in-person gathering.

Tech expert Omar Gallaga says GOP officeholders haven’t always supported contract tracing, and that tracing at the convention is a departure from the party’s previous stances on coronavirus prevention. 

“It is a bit of irony that the GOP would be the ones kind of pioneering this technology, since we really haven’t seen it deployed at conventions or at any mass scale, yet,” Gallaga said.

State governments, too, are embracing contact-tracing technology in new ways, with some governments embracing the tools Apple and Google have joined to produce for that purpose.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How the GOP convention’s contract-tracing system works

– How convention organizers plan to ensure the privacy of contact-tracing data

– Which states are building new contact-tracing apps

– Whether more states will embrace application programming interfaces, or APIs, for contact tracing

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