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Let’s Build An Amber Alert For Pandemics

Dear CDC: How about an Amber Alert system for coronavirus and other pandemics?

Say a patient tests positive for coronavirus. Here’s what happens next:

1. The patient’s doctor notifies the CDC.

2. CDC sends patient’s cellphone number to the NSA.

3. Using cell tower triangulation records from cell carriers, the NSA determines which cellphones have been in patient’s close proximity during the past 2 weeks, and texts an exposure warning to those phone numbers so those people can take precautions.

Some might say this impinges on privacy, but the NSA can already determine who has been in your proximity (see https://bbc.in/33kaQqV and https://nyti.ms/38RKTA4), so why not use this to alert people who might’ve been exposed, given that 96% of Americans have a cellphone and people are dying? (https://pewrsr.ch/2U7nfdE)

March 16, 2020