Poll: 58 percent of voters uncomfortable using smartphone data to trace COVID-19

Roughly 6 in 10 voters say they are not comfortable with the government accessing health and location data from smartphones in efforts to trace the spread of the coronavirus, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

58 percent of registered voters in the May 6 survey said they feel uncomfortable while 42 percent said they feel comfortable.

Men were 16 percent more likely than women to feel comfortable about government access to smartphone data for contact tracing, at 50 percent and 34 percent, respectively.

Younger Americans also felt more secure with their data being shared versus older Americans.

Voters who earn less than 75 thousand a year were 20 percentage points less likely than higher earning voters to say they feel comfortable with sharing personal data with the government in order to trace COVID-19.

Partisans were equally uncomfortable with the idea of the government having access to health and location data via cell phones to trace the pandemic, with Democrats being slightly more open to the concept.

Roughly 40 percent of Republican and independent voters said they feel comfortable with the idea while 46 precent of Democrats said the same.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 957 registered voters on May 6.  It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.17 percentage points. 

Gabriela Schulte