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The Cost of Privacy in the Age of COVID-19

July 9, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Virtual Event Virtual Event

As COVID-19 cases again soar, the U.S. is looking for a way forward. Join us for a presentation by Chang-Tai Hsieh, a co-author of the recently published paper, “The Cost of Privacy: Welfare Effect of the Disclosure of COVID-19 Cases.” and a conversation with TPI President and Senior Fellow Scott Wallsten. Hsieh and his coauthors explore how public disclosure of the location of people who tested positive for COVID-19 affected the transmission of the virus and economic losses in Seoul, South Korea.

The authors find that public disclosure of location data for positive COVID-19 tests in Seoul “lowers the number of cases by 400 thousand and the number of deaths by 13 thousand,” and that the “economic cost is 50% lower” relative to the alternative of no public disclosure.

These results provide important insights into the costs and benefits of full public disclosure, how privacy and data sharing plays a role in combating the pandemic, and possible paths forward for the U.S. as we continue to deal with COVID19.


July 9, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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