Balancing privacy and the value of data in the COVID-19 pandemic
Kristian López Vargas couldn't stand by as the coronavirus threatened his home country of Peru. Instead, he approached the Peruvian government about developing an app to improve "contact tracing" to protect people from COVID-19. Then he helped lead the effort that culminated with the app’s release just three weeks later.
López Vargas worked around the clock with academics, the government, and technology companies to develop the phone-based app and accompanying probability models. With the endorsement of the government, the app PeruEnTusManos was launched April 3 and already has one million users.
“The public has welcomed this tool and appreciates that the government took decisive action to implement a nationwide lockdown early,” said López Vargas. "It's super scary. My family is there."