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Senator Cassidy explores COVID contact tracing with heightened privacy measures

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BATON ROUGE- As health officials across the country are exploring different ways to keep track of cases and slow the spread of COVID-19, Senator Bill Cassidy says it is important to have guidelines.

Cassidy says he wants to give people the option to report their own virus exposure and protect their personal data. 

He says he has been working on legislation that spells out participation requirements and rights when it comes to coronavirus exposure notification systems.

"Americans want to help protect themselves and protect others," Cassidy said.

Whether its learning about if you have been exposed or warning others that you have been exposed, Cassidy says people want the information with privacy in mind.

Cassidy says exposure notification systems should be presented with voluntary enrollment and if you wish to be removed from such a system, your data can be deleted. The proposed legislation would prohibit commercial use of the data, according to Cassidy.

"So someone couldn't buy an ad from Facebook or Google to market some product directly to me because I've tested positive, or because I have been exposed," Cassidy said.

He hopes that by allowing a person's knowledge of virus exposure to be known it can slow the spread, but this must be done by using legitimate sources to help protect privacy.

Private data companies would coordinate with a public health entity, and Cassidy is hopeful that the measure is passed soon.


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