Apple and Google are teaming up against COVID-19. Together the companies are working on a contact tracing tool to identify individuals exposed to the coronavirus. While likely helpful and certainly humanitarian, the gen pop has expressed mixed feelings about the implications of the tool given its reliance on personal data and health information.
Privacy concerns aside, 21% of the general population have a positive opinion about this joint effort, while 19% have a negative opinion.Gen Z sees Apple and Google’s joint efforts in the most positive light: 25% said they are favorable to the collaboration. Even Baby Boomers, often boxed into a profile of being untrusting of technology and its capabilities, see it in a favorable light at a 22% rate. The greatest negativity came from Millennials and Gen Xers.Negative opinions are potentially linked to concerns about data privacy. Overall, Millennials expressed the greatest concern about the new tracing tool’s ability to get the job done while protecting consumer privacy (72%).CivicScience tracking shows trust in large tech companies (like Apple and Google) to protect privacy has been trending upward since the end of last year. At this point in time, trust in tech companies to protect personal privacy rests at 45% of U.S. adults (high and medium trust combined).Who is the most trusting? True to their colors, members of Gen Z show the greatest degree of trust in tech companies to protect their personal information, which explains why they are also the most likely to approve of Apple and Google using everyone’s data to combat the spread of the coronavirus.As telemedicine becomes a necessity during the pandemic, more people are trying and liking (or intending to try) a virtual visit with their doctor. The data show that people who have tried or plan to try some form of telemedicine are the least concerned about the data and healthcare privacy implications related to Apple and Google’s contact tracing tool. It’s likely that the experience of relying on technology to keep people safe and healthy, helps build trust in the new age of global healthcare we seem to be approaching.
Everyone wants to overcome the pandemic that has wreaked havoc on a global scale, and it’s unlikely it can be done without the resources of certain companies and brands. The difficult part will be instilling confidence in users and consumers that their privacy will be safeguarded during the process.