In testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee on April 9, the Future of Privacy Forum’s senior counsel Stacey Gray noted that certain devices are more widely used by younger and richer communities, which means that “the elderly, very young and lowest-income people” would be excluded from what Apple and Google are looking to build. 

Beyond access to devices, another concern would be access to networks. Researchers from Harvard University’s Center for Ethics pointed out that a large part of the US population don’t have consistent access to broadband. 

“If 100% of some communities use a tracing app, but other communities feel alienated by it, don’t have the necessary devices, cannot get signal, or are afraid of government overreach, we may have a situation where the virus can more easily get a foothold in certain communities, further increasing existing inequalities and creating an atmosphere of stigma and disparity,” the research paper said.