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?

DP-3T deployments

Change Model: Privacy-respecting code for contract tracing, built by consortium and focused on decentralized approaches.

“We are a international consortium of technologists, legal experts, engineers and epidemiologists with a wide range of experience who are interested in ensuring that any proximity tracing technology does not result in governments obtaining surveillance capabilities which will endanger civil society.” –

DP-3T “Who We Are”

European Commission Strategy: Digital technologies – actions in response to coronavirus pandemic

Key Quote: “Shaping Europe’s Digital Future”

Follow links for details on Data, artificial intelligence and supercomputers, Telecommunications, networks and connectivity, Online platforms and disinformation, and skills, collaborative working and creativity

Change Model: Policy

Oxford Internet Institute: Ethical Guidelines for SARS-CoV-2 Digital Tracking and Tracing Systems

Morley, Jessica and Cowls, Josh and Taddeo, Mariarosaria and Floridi, Luciano, Ethical Guidelines for SARS-CoV-2 Digital Tracking and Tracing Systems (April 22, 2020). https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3582550

Key Quote: “Only One Chance to Get It Right”

Change Model: Analysis and Guidance for Policymakers and Technologists

Letter to social media platforms: preserve coronavirus misinformation data

Change Model: Advocacy

Access Now: Fighting misinformation and defending free expression during COVID-19: recommendations for states

“Hasty and shortsighted solutions to disinformation and misinformation endanger human rights. There will be an aftermath to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the measures governments put in place right now will determine what that looks like, ” said Eliska Pirkova, Europe Policy Analyst at Access Now. “Under no circumstances should any government allow people’s fundamental rights to fall victim to this pandemic.”

Access Now

Change Model: Advocacy and detailed toolkits for policymakers

Internet Society Foundation Emergency Response Grant Programme: COVID-19

There are areas of focus within this call for proposals which include an eye on the Post-COVID-19 digital landscape, including “Platforms that establish new pathways to alternative livelihoods”

Change model: philanthropic support for nonprofit programs.

DP-PPT: a protocol for Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing

“A group of European privacy experts has proposed a decentralized system for Bluetooth-based COVID-19 contacts tracing which they argue offers greater protection against abuse and misuse of people’s data than apps which pull data into centralized pots.”


Change Model: The promotion of protocols and shared resources to protect privacy.

Open Society Foundations’ response takes the long view

“For many of us, the pandemic has underlined the challenges to our globalized world, and to the old ways of running our economies, posed by the existential threat of climate change. The current catastrophe also presents an opportunity—an opportunity to push for fundamental changes needed to build societies that are stronger and more resilient in addressing the challenges to come. I assure you that the Open Society Foundations will be an active participant in this search for a better world to emerge from the trauma of our present horror.”

Patrick Gaspard – Open Society Foundations