Safety in Numbers

As employers consider a safe return for their workforce— including how they will “virus-proof” their offices— technology and software companies have scrambled to promote their tracing technologies as best-in-class.

PwC has developed an automatic contact tracing app for employers called Check-In that uses “Bluetooth signals, WiFi, GPS and other data to track where employees go around the office, who they come into contact with and for how long.”

CLEAR’s Health Pass system would use facial recognition to identify employees and enable them to complete a real-time health survey and upload their lab results/link to their test provider before they are admitted into a building.

Microshare offers tracing through Bluetooth beacons beyond smartphones like wristbands, badges and keyrings that record and store data about their whereabouts and proximity to one another.

And earlier this year, Google and Apple announced an unprecedented partnership to help fight the virus through contact tracing technology, focusing on user privacy and security.

At the same time, a recent survey of 1,100 U.S. workers found nearly a third are “very concerned” at the prospect of having to use a phone app or wearable device that tracks location and proximity to people who’ve been infected, citing privacy concerns.

Employers will have to walk a fine line between emphasizing the importance of tracing in preventing the spread of the virus and ensuring employee privacy.