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O'Callaghan, ME,Buckley, J,Fitzgerald, B,Johnson, K,Laffey, J,McNicholas, B,Nuseibeh, B,O'Keeffe, D,O'Keeffe, I,Razzaq, A,Rekanar, K,Richardson, I,Simpkin, A,Abedin, J,Storni, C,Tsvyatkova, D,Walsh, J,Welsh, T,Glynn, L
Irish Journal Of Medical Science
A national survey of attitudes to COVID-19 digital contact tracing in the Republic of Ireland
Optional Fields
App Contact tracing Coronavirus COVID-19 Online survey Public opinion
Background Contact tracing remains a critical part of controlling COVID-19 spread. Many countries have developed novel software applications (Apps) in an effort to augment traditional contact tracing methods. Aim Conduct a national survey of the Irish population to examine barriers and levers to the use of a contact tracing App. Methods Adult participants were invited to respond via an online survey weblink sent via e-mail and messaging Apps and posted on our university website and on popular social media platforms, prior to launch of the national App solution. Results A total of 8088 responses were received, with all 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland represented. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they would definitely download a contact-tracing App, while 30% said they would probably download a contact tracing App. Ninety-five percent of respondents identified at least one reason for them to download such an App, with the most common reasons being the potential for the App to help family members and friends and a sense of responsibility to the wider community. Fifty-nine percent identified at least one reason not to download the App, with the most common reasons being fear that technology companies or the government might use the App technology for greater surveillance after the pandemic. Conclusion The Irish citizens surveyed expressed high levels of willingness to download a public health-backed App to augment contact tracing. Concerns raised regarding privacy and data security will be critical if the App is to achieve the large-scale adoption and ongoing use required for its effective operation.
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