Trading Privacy for Effectiveness in Exposure Notifications: A Debate

Thursday, March 11, 2021
1 PM PST / 4 PM EST / 9 PM GMT

SPT - 2021 Mar Video


The Google/Apple exposure notification system includes a variety of protections to ensure privacy by design. Protections to make the system more voluntary and more secure can also impede its effectiveness in stemming disease. Does the system remain vulnerable to dangerous attacks, despite the existing protections? Do some of the existing protections give up too much epidemiological effectiveness for too little gain in privacy?

Two debaters, both pioneers of decentralized exposure notification protocols, will advocate for different positions along a continuum of possibilities, arguing for different ways of balancing the competing values of privacy and effectiveness.

While these positions must be grounded in the range of technical possibilities, societal decisions should not be made by techies alone, and so this will be followed by responses from experts from other relevant disciplines.


Co-hosted with The Big Data Institute at
The University of Oxford

Speakers and Respondents


peter singer - 240

Peter Singer

Respondent ⏤  Ethics

Professor of bioethics at Princeton University


James Petrie

Debater ⏤  TCN / Covid Watch 

Head of Research at WeHealth


carmela troncoso - 240

Carmela Troncoso

Debater ⏤  DP3T

Assistant Professor at EPFL


dr louise ivers - 240

Dr. Louise Ivers

Respondent ⏤  Public Health 

Prof. of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

jane bambauer - 240

Jane Bambauer

Respondent ⏤  Law 

Professor of Law at the University of Arizona

Jason Hong

Jason Hong

Respondent ⏤  User Acceptability 

Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University

Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs

Joanna Masel, PhD

Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at The University of Arizona

Luca Ferretti, PhD

Senior Researcher in Statistical Genetics and Pathogen DynamicsBig Data Institute, The University of Oxford

Webinars On-Demand

Watch recordings of past events, anytime. Contributors include leading experts in exposure science, epidemiology, virology, public health, infectious disease, privacy, cybersecurity, and more.

“Last week’s event was awesome! There were 5 from my department that attended as well, they also wrote to say how much they enjoyed the debate."

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