SHS Web of Conf.
Volume 92, 2021The 20th International Scientific Conference Globalization and its Socio-Economic Consequences 2020
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Global Impact of COVID 19 on Economy and Society|
|Published online||13 January 2021|
The global flood of COVID-19 contact tracing apps: sailing with human rights and data protection standards against the wind of mass surveillance
University of Latvia, Faculty of Law, 19 Raina Blvd., Riga, Latvia
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Research background: Countries all around the world are rapidly introducing contact tracing apps and other surveillance technologies to tackle the spread of COVID-19 raising serious concerns about human rights and democratic principles.
Purpose of the article: The article aims to analyse how human rights and data protection law regulate the COVID-19 contact tracing apps and reveal the biggest challenges that countries face in applying the essential requirements.
Methods: The article will analyse the legal framework and compare many guidance documents issued by the international organisations, including the Council of Europe, the OECD and many EU institutions on the data protection requirements for contact tracing tools and the main challenges the governments face in different countries.
Findings & Value added: The article will reveal that the existing human rights and data protection standards already impose significant requirements for contact tracing apps requiring to comply with such principles as legality, necessity, proportionality, transparency, purpose limitation, temporariness. Although countries tend to deviate from some of these standards a choice between effective response to crises and fundamental rights should not be made. The article argues that the global flood of digital surveillance technologies requires new regulatory framework and governance mechanisms to enable impact assessment, oversight and monitoring of these technologies both during and after the crises not only to ensure that they are lawful and ethical, but also to limit the dependency of governments on large technology companies as well as to prevent mass surveillance becoming the new normal on a global scale.
Key words: Contact Tracing / Covid-19 Apps / Data Protection / Privacy / Surveillance
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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