The new applications and measures being implemented by public health authorities across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic have sparked debate over how to balance biosurveillance with individuals' right to the privacy of their personal information.
In California, the Collaborative Charter Services Organization, which provides administrative support services to charter schools, has chosen to roll out a pandemic management system that prioritizes its users' data privacy. Called "Team.Care Network," the blockchain solution was developed by healthcare startup Solve.Care and runs as a mobile application.
Solve.Care said the solution will help schools to track possible COVID-19 exposure in their community and should help them to manage the return to in-person education in a more controlled, cautious manner. Pradeep Goel, CEO of Solve.Care, has noted that lawmakers in California have increasingly recognized the importance of data privacy rights and established a legislative framework to help protect their residents:
“In recent years, Californians have shown their commitment to protecting citizens’ privacy rights though the introduction of a welcome range of new policies in the state such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the very recently passed California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). Now, in the first application of blockchain technology in a day-to-day school setting, public California charter schools can create a safer space for students and staff while ensuring data privacy concerns are addressed.”
As previously reported, a range of blockchain solutions to tackle problems such as COVID-19 exposure tracking, vaccine management and virus-related data visualization have been implemented across the world, by entities that include Arizona State University in the United States, the United Kingdom's National Health Service and the Brazilian government.