(MARKETWATCH) The economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been swift. U.S. retail sales have collapsed, and industrial production has fallen precipitously. But even as the government remains focused on containing the virus and caring for the sick, policymakers and business leaders are starting to reopen the economy.
As they wrestle with how to bring back workers safely, key questions have emerged around how best to confirm that employees are healthy and able to work, while also protecting their workers’ personal privacy. Public health officials say that collecting personal health data may be only to track the virus to understand who is immune from it and who is most at risk. But privacy advocates have raised concerns about how that data will be used and by whom, as well as how and where it’s stored.