Tracing Apps to Fight Covid-19. Are surveillance technologies effective?

In verschillende Aziatische landen worden tracing-apps geïmplementeerd om de verdere verspreiding van het Corona-virus tegen te gaan. Ook in Europa gaan steeds meer stemmen op om hiervan gebruik te maken. Marine Al Dahdah en Mohammad Javed Alam stellen in een lang essay de vraag of de vermeende voordelen ervan opwegen tegen de risico’s voor onze privacy. Ze bekijken welke technologieën er op tafel liggen, gaan na hoe efficiënt ze zijn en wat de garanties of de bedreigingen voor onze privacy zijn.

Hun conclusie:

(…) these applications reinforce the blind belief in technology and surveillance as the main responses to health, ecological or economic crises, while on the contrary they divert attention away from solutions: scientific research, public service funding, etc. The use of an application whose objectives, techniques and conditions of use carry significant risks for societies and individual liberties, for probably poor (or even counter-productive) results, cannot be considered as an acceptable solution. The media, political time and budgets allocated for this purpose would be better used to inform and protect the population (and healthcare workers) by methods with proven effectiveness, such as the provision of masks, tests, medical care and equipment.

Books & ideas: Tracing Apps to Fight Covid-19 (pdf)