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Most Americans will not download COVID-19 contact tracing app

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A majority of Americans will not use COVID-19 contact tracing apps designed to help mitigate the potential uptick in the pandemic, according to a new survey released by the digital security provider Avira.

In a poll of 2,005 adults, 71% of respondents said they have no plans to download and use a contact tracing app. In addition, 44% expressed concern over digital privacy, 39% said the app gave a false sense of security, 37% believed the apps would not slow the spread of COVID-19 and 35% cited their distrust of the app providers.

Respondents ages 55 and higher were the greatest percentage of app boycotters (47%), with lesser levels of skepticism recorded among those ages 45-54 (17%) and 25-34 (15%). The only age group more willing to use the apps than not were those ages 35-44.

Women were far less willing to download the technology than men (18% to 40%). Among professions, IT workers were most willing to download the app (64%) while government and healthcare workers had the lowest percentage (39%).

“We believe these survey results send a clear signal to both app creators and the government,” said Travis Witteveen, CEO of Avira. “COVID contact tracing apps could fail before they launch if developers don’t communicate to the public how they plan to protect people’s privacy.”

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