Since COVID-19 began to spread, we’ve seen innovations that save lives and keep people safe. One startup has focused on social distancing and created a band called Halo that alerts wearers if they are within six feet of each other. And if someone does get sick, you can use the data to determine with whom the person had contact while at work. It’s the kind of data that disease detectives need in order to monitor an outbreak.
But as with any new technology, people are concerned about things like user privacy. Though its designer Proxi reassures that the band does not track a wearer’s location, it does keep a log of any band-wearers that have been nearby. And potential buyers are asking – is this worth the cost at $100 per band?
From a Cybersecurity Perspective, Social Distancing Bands Are Safe to Use…
If we’re talking about Halo or similar bands, a hacker would not be able to make any determinations about the band wearer (i.e., end-user) if they somehow accessed the system because the online account would not include any personally identifying information (PII). The hacker would need to know who owned the band to identify information about the user.
However, even if the hacker were able to determine who the band belongs to and access the online database, the most they would know is that someone was near something else at a certain time. While history can show a pattern, such as John has band number 8317 and was around band 44456 yesterday at 3 p.m., that data poses little security risk.
…But You’ll Want to Weigh Whether or Not They are Right For Your Company
Social distancing bands are just one technology that will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, and many will have uses after the crisis ebbs – or when the next pandemic arrives. Regardless, there are pros and cons to investing in these devices. What are the pros and cons of social distancing wristbands? The following are just some items you’ll want to consider before going all in.
Pros of Social Distancing Wristbands
- Employers can provide evidence they exercised due diligence in mitigating the virus
- Employers can ensure unsupervised employees are maintaining social distancing
- Hackers would receive little actionable information
- Exposed individuals will know if they need to quarantine
- Vision-impaired individuals can get a physical alert if they get too close to someone
- You’ll be far more prepared for a future pandemic or any other reason for social distancing
Cons of Social Distancing Wristbands
- Employers could look like “Big Brother,” even if they have the best intentions
- Smartphones are necessary to download information from the band
- All information from the band is downloaded after the contact is made
Looking into implementing this type of technology, or just seeking expert opinions on your high-tech options during and after the COVID-19 crisis? Feel free to reach out.