Led by Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, The How We Feel Project Will Make It Easier to Gather Critical Data 

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie is providing pro bono counsel to The How We Feel Project, Inc., a non-profit start-up founded by Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann and leading doctors and scientists, in the launch of a mobile app called How We Feel, which aims to rapidly gather data to more accurately predict and fight the spread of COVID-19 in the US and abroad. 

The How We Feel Project is part of a non-profit collaboration between Ben Silbermann and an interdisciplinary group of researchers affiliated with the McGovern Institute; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Institute of Quantitative Social Science; University of Pennsylvania; Stanford University; University of Maryland School of Medicine; Weill Cornell Medicine; and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The app prompts people—healthy or not—to share how they’re feeling, their age and their zip code. If a person is not feeling well, they can also share their symptoms and health conditions. Daily health "check-ins" take about 30 seconds. The How We Feel app is available for download today in the U.S. on iOS and Android, and via the web at howwefeel.org.

How We Feel does not ask users to create an account, and doesn’t ask for a name, phone number or email address. The aggregated information will be shared with select scientists, public health professionals, and doctors who need more data to continue fighting the spread of COVID-19.

A team of Baker McKenzie lawyers led by partners Ben Allgrove based in London and Lothar Determann in Palo Alto is providing pro bono legal counsel on data privacy, intellectual property and commercial law aspects of the app development and launch. Previously, for many years, Lothar has been teaching and advocating for more healthy data protection (http://ssrn.com/abstract=3357990).

"The pro bono work Baker provided to get How We Feel launched is nothing short of spectacular," said The How We Feel Project. "Their speed, expertise, and enthusiasm is unrivaled and we can’t thank them enough for their partnership."

Added Ben Silbermann, "Lothar and Ben have become terrific partners in our work. They have excelled at providing thoughtful solutions to difficult problems on the tightest timelines. I can’t thank them enough for the contributions they have made to How We Feel."

For each download of the app and first completed health check-in, Ben Silbermann and his wife, Divya Silbermann, will donate a meal to a family in need through Feeding America. The couple has pledged to donate up to 10 million meals.

Lothar and Ben commented, "Baker McKenzie is very pleased to play a part in the development of this critical resource in the world's fight against COVID-19. We offer our sincere thank you to Ben Silbermann and the many expert collaborators on this important project. We will encourage all of our people at Baker McKenzie, in addition to our clients and friends, to download the app and begin self-reporting."
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