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COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Technology: Acceptability and Ethical Issues of Use

Authors Abuhammad S, Khabour OF, Alzoubi KH

Received 11 August 2020

Accepted for publication 3 September 2020

Published 18 September 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 1639—1647


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Sawsan Abuhammad,1 Omar F Khabour,2 Karem H Alzoubi3

1Department of Maternal and Child Health, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan; 2Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan; 3Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan

Correspondence: Sawsan Abuhammad Email [email protected]

Background: The contact-tracing COVID-19 technology allows for tracing people that come in contact to individuals with COVID-19 wherever they are located. The number of tracing COVID-19 infection technology and devices is rapidly increasing. This has prompted many researchers to study the acceptability and ethical issues related to the implementation of such technology.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine the acceptability of COVID-19 contact-tracing technology and ethical issues of use.
Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was used. The target population was Jordanian adults (> 18 years). The survey was distributed to a convenience sample of 2000 general public in Jordan.
Results: The results found that the number of people who accept to use COVID-19 contact-tracing technology was 71.6%. However, the percentage of people who were using this technology was 37.8. The main ethical concerns for many of participants were privacy, voluntariness, and beneficence of the data. Only income and living area were predictors for acceptability and use of tracing technology (p≤ 0.01).
Conclusion: The majority of Jordanians accept the implementation of contact-tracing technology for COVID-19 infection. Among ethical concerns of the implementation of such technology were privacy, beneficence and voluntariness.
Implications: The results of this study would help in improving the state of science regarding acceptability to use contact-tracing technology for health purposes. Moreover, the present findings provide evidence of predictors of acceptance and ethical concerns among Jordanian population about COVID-19 contact-tracing technology.

Keywords: research, ethical issues, individuals, Jordan, tracing COVID-19

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