The costs and benefits of contact tracing : The Indicator from Planet Money Contact tracing is one of the most effective ways to contain a pandemic and dates back to the 1300s. But the modern versions are coming at a real cost.
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The Cost Of Contact Tracing

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The Cost Of Contact Tracing

The Cost Of Contact Tracing

The Cost Of Contact Tracing

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Niall Carson - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
An illustration on a mobile phone showing what a coronavirus contract tracing app for the Irish health service may possibly look like. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Niall Carson - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Contact tracing is seen by many as key to controlling the spread of COVID-19 and reopening the economy. But it's complicated. The old school method of contact tracing is expensive, takes a long time and can get emotional.

The modern method - using apps and other kinds of technological solutions - can get around a lot of that. But the tech can have problems, too. For one thing, most of these solutions are tied to cell phones and location tracking, which poses all kinds of privacy issues.

Today we look at how the various methods of contact tracing work, and the problems each approach raises.

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