Press Releases

DelBene, Eshoo, Wyden Urge White House to Protect Privacy in Coronavirus Response

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Washington, D.C., March 19, 2020 | comments

Today, Congresswomen Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Anna Eshoo (CA-18) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to President Trump and Vice President Pence urging them to abide by privacy principles when collecting sensitive health and location data from tech companies.

“Because location and health data are some of the most private types of information about any individual, we urge you to implement procedures to protect the privacy of Americans,” DelBene and her colleagues said. “We support bold measures to keep Americans safe and healthy during this crisis. However, prohibiting government intrusion into the private lives of Americans is, and has always been part of the DNA of our country, enshrined in the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution.”

The members of Congress shared their concerns following reports that the Trump administration is in discussions with Facebook, Google, and other companies to use location data captured by smartphones for public health purposes, in addition to the president’s public remarks about partnering with Verily to maintain a website for identifying testing locations.

The text of the letter is available here.
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