Review: How much should the public know about who has the coronavirus?

This New York Times article suggests utilizing communicative approaches similar to Taiwan could provide Americans with transparency while protecting their privacy.

Currently in the United States, privacy seems to be trumping transparency, even though transparent communication has long been touted as an essential practice during a pandemic. Less information leads to more mistrust, which then affects willingness to comply. Beyond the public’s need and desire to know, research is compromised because of the lack of specific data, particularly related to testing, symptoms, and locations of infected individuals. The United States needs to systematically collect more detailed information so that researchers are not relying on other countries’ data to make projections here. Utilizing some of the privacy-sensitive proactive approaches used in Taiwan (e.g., anonymized case tracing) could be beneficial.


|2020-04-15T16:33:05-04:00March 30th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Review: How much should the public know about who has the coronavirus?

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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