Each post details an organizational action taken to improve the digital future while responding to the current crisis.

EFF opposes California bill to authorize digitally verifiable COVID-19 test results

Change model: letter of opposition co-signed with ACLU of California

Facebook links its (big) entry into e-commerce to the pandemic

The big platforms may have an even bigger role in retail and e-commerce, after COVID-19

Change model: Seeing an opportunity, or sensing good timing for a move they have been developing for a while, a big player enters new part of the market.

Re-configuring the news ecosystem – requiring platforms to pay for content

Australia is early out of the gate with a plan to require Facebook and Google to help pay for news content they link to, as a way of sharing advertising revenue..

The explorations and negotiations leading to this proposed policy shift were underway prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic (and its acceleration of the crisis in news) has added urgency.

Change model: direct regulatory action

Intended goal: support legacy news operations and local and national journalism

Making working from home a permanent condition

Is this a trend other firms in tech will follow? Will there be similar moves in other sectors? We saw the term “remote-first” used in an article this week. Like “mobile first”, there is likely to be some momentum in this direction for a while.

Ada Lovelace Institute – Rapid evidence review explainer

Change model: advocacy and policy briefs

Focus: discouraging approaches to immunity certification that will erode privacy, stratify society, and invite discrimination

MIT Technology Review COVID Tracing Tracker

The Project will track and compare various contact tracing apps using five categories:

  • Is it voluntary?
  • Are there limitations on how the data gets used?
  • Will data be destroyed after a period of time?
  • Is data collection minimized?
  • Is the effort transparent?

MIT Technology Review, 7 May 2020

Change model: better and more comparative information to inform decision-making.


Following the development of the Apple-Google contact tracing app

There will be too many stories about the Google/Apple proximity tracing app to list/highlight them all. I’ll update this page from time to time (new items on top) as new developments emerge. If there is anything specifically future focused, like the promise to limit the API’s duration, I will consider a different post.

A common EU toolbox for contact tracing

“Welcoming the toolbox, Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said: “Contact tracing apps to limit the spread of coronavirus can be useful, especially as part of Member States’ exit strategies. However, strong privacy safeguards are a pre-requisite for the uptake of these apps, and therefore their usefulness. While we should be innovative and make the best use of technology in fighting the pandemic, we will not compromise on our values and privacy requirements.”

European Union Press Release 16 April 2020

Change Model: Standards and common code

Limiting the Apple/Google Contact Tracer to the Crisis Period Only

“As part of the change, the daily key is now referred to as the “temporary tracing key,” and the long-term tracing key included in the original specification is no longer present.”

The Verge

Change Model: Code designed for obsolescence?