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Cybersecurity & Standards, Government Surveillance, Privacy & Data

CDT’s Latest Webinar in a Series: A Debate on the Risks of Bluetooth Contact Tracing

As government leaders, policymakers, and technology companies continue to navigate the global coronavirus pandemic, CDT is actively monitoring the latest responses and working to ensure they are grounded in civil rights and liberties. Our policy teams aim to help leaders craft solutions that balance the unique needs of the moment, while still respecting and upholding individual human rights. Find more of our work at

As part of CDT’s work to ensure government leaders, policymakers, and tech companies protect our civil liberties as well as our health, we’ve come together for another addition to our series of webinars on tech policy responses to COVID-19.

This episode comes as countries around the world, and state governments in the United States, are deploying Bluetooth-enabled proximity apps to notify people that they may have been exposed to a person who has COVID-19. Developers are scrambling to produce these contact tracing apps, and Google and Apple are developing an Application Program Interface to facilitate their deployment.

Are these apps effective, and can the privacy, equality, and “mission creep” concerns that surround them be addressed? Stanford Law School’s Albert Gidari and the ACLU’s Neema Singh Guliani debate whether, at this time, the potential benefits of Bluetooth-enabled contact tracing outweigh the risks. Gidari argued the affirmative, and Guliani argued the negative.

Watch the Webinar


  • Moderator: Avery Gardiner, Senior Fellow for Competition, Data, and Power, Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Albert Gidari, Consulting Director of Privacy, Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society
  • Neema Singh Guliani, Senior Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office
  • Greg Nojeim, Senior Counsel and Director, Freedom, Security & Technology Project, Center for Democracy & Technology (introduction)

The next webinar in CDT’s series will likely be on the student privacy implications of our current COVID-19 reality, and we’ll be talking to policy experts as well as education practitioners on what they’re seeing and how they’re responding. Stay tuned to our social media channels and website, as well as your inboxes for more information soon!

This webinar aired Wednesday, May 20, 2020. If you’d like to participate in future webinars in this series, reach out to us at [email protected].

The ACLU’s Neema Singh Guliani, at CDT's latest COVID-19 webinar
ACLU’s Neema Singh Guliani

The Stanford Law’s Albert Gidari, at CDT's latest COVID-19 webinar
Stanford Law’s Albert Gidari

CDT's Avery Gardiner, at our latest COVID-19 webinar
CDT’s Avery Gardiner