And then, of course, there are the inevitable privacy concerns. Kinsa emphasized that all data provided to the city will be aggregated and anonymized. “No personal data is transferred to anyone other than that individual,” Singh said. “They own the data and we’re really adamant about this.”
While digital privacy experts say these are important safeguards, they also note that information about children and health is particularly sensitive. “It’s really important to strike a balance between data privacy,” said Rachele Hendricks-Sturrup, health policy advisor at the Future of Privacy Forum, a consulting organization focused on data privacy. public health benefits and needs with social risks.
For example, even data that has been identified can sometimes be re-identified. “Even if it turns out to be ‘4th graders at this school in this neighborhood,'” said Hayley Tsukayama, a legislative activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital privacy group. can narrow it down. “It doesn’t take many data points to redefine something.”
The data, aggregated using ZIP codes, will also be combined with the disease signals Kinsa provides on its public HealthWeather maps. The company sometimes shares this ZIP code information with pharmacies, vaccine distributors, and other companies. For example, Clorox used Kinsa’s data to determine where to target its ads. (Lysol won’t have special access to the data, Kinsa said.)
Both Kinsa and the city need to be transparent with families about how data will be used, stored and shared and how long it will be stored, experts said. Amelia Vance, director of youth privacy and education at the Future of Privacy Forum, said that “basically city officials are ‘stamping their approval on this’.” “They need to make sure they are doing it right with the confidence that parents will have that the program has been fully tested and is safe for children and their families.”
In the coming months, city officials will closely monitor how well the program is doing, Dr. How does the family feel about the program? Is there enough absorption to generate useful data? Can they really catch outbreaks earlier – and slow their spread?
“Our goal was to try to see if in the real world it would really have the impact we were hoping for,” Dr. Varma said. “It’s also possible that the system might not detect anything out of the ordinary or out of the ordinary, but it still proves to be successful because it provides people with information they find useful and builds their trust. them when they send their children to school.”