The Lawfare Podcast: Is Contact Tracing a Privacy Threat?

Jen Patja, Benjamin Wittes, Joshua Sharfstein, Stewart Baker, Susan Landau, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Robert Chesney
Saturday, April 18, 2020, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
Brookings

Many people are holding out contact tracing as the way we are going to control the COVID-19 epidemic. Once we start opening up the economy again, it involves identifying people who have tested positive for the virus and notifying those with whom they have been in close contact that they are at risk and need to quarantine. It also involves surveillance—electronic surveillance of a type that we are not comfortable with as a society. Can we do it legally? Should we do it? Will it be effective? To work through the do's and don'ts and cans and can'ts of contact tracing, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Josh Sharfstein, Susan Landau, Alan Rozenshtein, Stewart Baker, and Bobby Chesney.



Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.
Joshua M. Sharfstein is a physician and Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Stewart A. Baker is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP. He returned to the firm following 3½ years at the Department of Homeland Security as its first Assistant Secretary for Policy. He earlier served as general counsel of the National Security Agency.
Susan Landau is Bridge Professor in The Fletcher School and Tufts School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science, Tufts University, and is founding director of Tufts MS program in Cybersecurity and Public Policy. Landau has testified before Congress and briefed U.S. and European policymakers on encryption, surveillance, and cybersecurity issues.
Alan Z. Rozenshtein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, a senior editor at Lawfare, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.
Robert (Bobby) Chesney is the Dean of the University of Texas School of Law, where he also holds the James A. Baker III Chair in the Rule of Law and World Affairs at UT. He is known internationally for his scholarship relating both to cybersecurity and national security. He is a co-founder of Lawfare, the nation’s leading online source for analysis of national security legal issues, and he co-hosts the popular show The National Security Law Podcast.

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