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Senator calls UW COVID 'app' too invasive, shades of '1984'

Posted at 3:10 p.m. on Monday, December 14, 2020

The Brillion News

MADISON - State Senator Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, is not happy with the cell phone "application" (or app) that the University of Wisconsin-Madison wants students to have next semester.

It is a part of the university's plan for students to return to campus.

Stroebel said it is an invasion of privacy and suggestive of the dystopia under a totalitarian society in George Orwell's novel 1984.

The app tracks compliance with health protocols and makes a student's health information public.

“No person should be required to place their health information on a smart phone app that in real-time shares that information with other users in the vicinity," Stroebel said.

[ << Photo of Sen. Duey Stroebel]

"Cyber security experts regularly warn us of the dangers of over-sharing personal information in a digital age. This new UW policy appears to require just that."

Stroebel said he agrees with UW plans for increased testing for COVID-19 next semester.

"Forcing students to use an application on their phone to track test compliance and subsequently share that data with ‘trained employees’ who ‘will stand guard outside buildings’ conjures images of a state-run campus in a repressive regime," Stroebel said. "I encourage the university to consider less invasive and controlling methods for keeping their staff and students healthy during this time."

Stroebel's district includes a portion of southern Calumet County.


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