Each post details an organizational action taken to improve the digital future while responding to the current crisis.
MIT Technology Review COVID Tracing Tracker
There’s a deluge of apps that detect your covid-19 exposure, often with little transparency. Our Covid Tracing Tracker project will document them.
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.
India is forcing people to use its covid app, unlike any other democracy
Millions of Indians have no choice but to download the country’s tracking technology if they want to keep their jobs or avoid reprisals.
Coronavirus: An EU approach for efficient contact tracing
Coronavirus: An EU approach for efficient contact tracing apps to support gradual lifting of confinement measures
“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
Apple and Google pledge to shut down coronavirus tracker when pandemic ends
representatives from each company pledged for the first time to disable the service after the outbreak had been sufficiently contained. Such a decision would have to be made on a region-by-region basis, and it’s unclear how public health authorities would reach such a determination. However, the engineers stated definitively that the APIs were not intended to be maintained indefinitely.
“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?
This repository contains a proposal for a secure and decentralized privacy-preserving proximity tracing system. Its goal is to simplify and accelerate the process of identifying people who have been in contact with an infected person, thus providing a technological foundation to help slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The system aims to minimise privacy and security risks for individuals and communities and guarantee the highest level of data protection.
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”
Contact tracing app could be launched in Switzerland within weeks
The decentralised contact tracing app DP-3T, designed to alert users who have come into contact with people infected with infectious diseases, …
Germany flips to Apple-Google approach on smartphone contact tracing
Germany changed course on Sunday over which type of smartphone technology it wanted to use to trace coronavirus infections, backing an approach supported by Apple and Google along with a growing number of other European countries.
Digital technologies – actions in response to coronavirus pandemic
The European Commission has been working to coordinate, complement and initiate measures to deal with every aspect of the coronavirus pandemic, and digital, media and telecoms play a vital role. Digital technologies have never been more important in our lives, and making sure Europe has the infrastructure, the connectivity and the regulations in place to respond to coronavirus and to keep people active and safe online is our mission.
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
Ethical Guidelines for SARS-CoV-2 Digital Tracking and Tracing Systems
The World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on 11th March 2020, recognising that the underlying SARS-CoV-2 has caused the greatest global crisis since World War II. In this article, we present a framework to evaluate whether and to what extent the use of digital systems that track and/or trace potentially infected individuals is not only legal but also ethical. Digital tracking and tracing (DTT) systems may severely limit fundamental rights and freedoms, but they ought not to be deployed in a vacuum of guidance, to ensure that they are ethically justifiable, i.e. coherent with society’s expectations and values. Interventions must be necessary to achieve a specific public health objective, proportional to the seriousness of the public health threat, scientifically sound to support their effectiveness, and time-bounded (1,2). However, this is insufficient. This is why in this article we present a more inclusive framework also comprising twelve enabling factors to guide the design and development of ethical DTT 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
Researchers want social media companies to preserve coronavirus misinformation data
[The Verge 2.22.20] The Committee to Protect Journalists, Access Now, the EFF, and other organizations have asked social media companies to preserve misinformation takedown data during the coronavirus pandemic for future research and transparency purposes.
Change Model: Advocacy
Access Now releases
We have identified practical examples and promising practices to support policy makers in respecting human rights while developing measures to address disinformation and misinformation during the COVID-19 crisis.
“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
Emergency Response Grant Programme: COVID-19
“Our Emergency Response Programme will provide funding to organizations working on projects that utilize the Internet to improve lives during or in response to an emergency situation. In 2020, the Foundation’s focus will be on projects that respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, both during the immediate period of the crisis but also looking ahead at responses to the inevitable “second wave” later this year/into 2021. ”
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.
EU privacy experts push a decentralized approach to COVID-19 contacts tracing – TechCrunch
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. The protocol — which they’re calling Decentraliz…
“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.”Techcrunch
Change Model: The promotion of protocols and shared resources to protect privacy.